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Already small, Navassa Police Department still down an officer

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It has been nearly three weeks since former Navassa Police Chief Ricky Thorpe resigned after being charged with drunk driving. There are now only two acting police officers left in Navassa, and officials have yet to pick Thorpe's replacement. Navassa Mayor Eulis Willis said the people of his town are doing the best they can, since the resignation of police Chief Thorpe. "I'm a little concerned about the citizens to make sure that they are satisfied and feeling safe," said Willis. Willis said the two acting officers have been handling the workload for the town of 1,800 just fine. Lt. Roger Harrington with the county sheriff's department said the deputies have stepped up patrol in Navassa and he has not heard of the workload being too much for Navassa Police. Town leaders hope the police department will soon have some relief. They plan to extend job offers to three police officer candidates within the next few weeks. Mayor Willis expects the process of finding a new chief to start in that same time frame. Willis said, "Council has decided now to take a real hard look at the criterion that we'll use for choosing the next chief." Some residents said they are just fine with having a small police department, while others, like David Brower, would like to see the chief position filled soon. "With a crime wave going on in the Wilmington area, the more police the better." The town administrator said she will put out an ad for the position, and Willis said they may go as far as hiring a professional recruiter. "Hopefully our citizens are taking this all in stride. Everyone seems to be doing okay with it," said Willis. Former Chief Thorpe declined to speak to us on camera today. He did tell WWAY he is doing fine, and has plans to spend the next few weeks on the west coast. He said he has not heard anything about his replacement, and when asked, had no recommendations.

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