NAVASSA, NC (WWAY) — The Town of Navassa has terminated a partnership between its police department and the Northwest Police Department, and citizens want to know why.
The Navassa Police Department is now left with just a chief and one part-time officer. Concerned citizen Ida Nixon believes it’s because a former Navassa officer went to work for Northwest.
“Because Scott Perez took a position with Northwest, now they’ve decided that they can no longer come in to assist the officers here in Navassa,” she said.
Navassa Mayor Eulis Willis seemed to suggest this could be the case.
“There is some concern among the council that Northwest has been kind of stealing our officers,” Willis said. “We’ve had like three people here in the last couple of years that actually left here and went up to Northwest, so they’re not appreciating that too much and this last one really resonated with the council, but I can’t say for sure that that’s the reason they did what they did.”
Willis, who actually doesn’t get a vote on council unless it is a tiebreaker, says he can’t confirm what led to the decision.
“We never actually had an open meeting to discuss the particulars with that so I’m not very comfortable saying that this is Navassa’s position,” he said.
Navassa Police will now have to request assistance from Northwest rather than it being readily available.
In addition to safety concerns, Dixon says the departments will no longer be able to hold joint checkpoints which allows them to score points under the governor’s Highway Safety Program and get access to new equipment.
She believes a change is needed among council.
“We are the citizens, you can do what we ask you to do now, or we’ll do what we have to do at the polls,” she said.
Mayor Willis says town council will be holding a budget workshop on Saturday and hope to discuss efforts to hire new police officers in the town of Navassa.