Committee Formed To Search For New Kenly Police Chief

KENLY – The Kenly town council held their regularly scheduled monthly meeting Monday night. The council took no action regarding the employment status of town manager Justine Jones. Six weeks after she began work, the entire Kenly Police Department simultaneously submitted their resignations. The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office has been responding to calls in the Kenly city limits since August 2nd.

On Tuesday, the town council released the following statement about their meeting and the formation of a committee to search for a new police chief:

On Monday night, the Kenly Town Council made the prudent decision to take no action regarding the employment status of the Town Manager. Fact finding related to the outside investigation, which is being overseen by Town Attorney Chip Hewett to determine the root cause of the eight employee resignations, is expected to conclude this week. The results will be presented before the end of the month and Council has instructed the Attorney to call for a special meeting once the investigation is available. Seven employees voluntarily resigned and one retired, and under a Manager/Council form of government, Council has no authority to regulate these positions. Council did agree to form a committee that includes District Attorney Susan Doyle, Sheriff Steve Bizzell, and Mayor Hales to begin the search for a new police chief and to rebuild the Kenly Police Department.

Last week, reports surfaced the doors to the Kenly town hall were locked and the phones went unanswered during normal business hours, leaving citizens unable to readily access town services. Also, the remaining town employees were paid with cashier’s checks from a local bank as there was no one on staff to perform payroll duties.


  1. Good luck finding any officers to work there. Every Johnston county agency is hurting for officers. Many hiring people that they wouldn’t have before but have to settle for the bottom.

  2. Well I guess they did such a good job with the town manager position I can only imagine the the police chief they choose

    • Didn’t the last town manager that the board hired get chargede? Town board had no other option to keep her so they don’t look like idiots which they are. They didn’t even ask for a background check of the last guy who served time. Could they not find the police department that’s located next door? (That’s not a question)

  3. Part of the write up read, I have had reports that the chief casually socializing in businesses that did not requested our services…definitely not a community policing supporter….what officer with any sort of sense would take a job in kenly for 38,000 and work for a lady who writes officers up for doing exactly what every department in America encourages their people to do?

  4. Yes I agree with you John. Also I have not seen one sheriff deputy anywhere around. Ad far as the doors locked and phone calls unanswered, where is the lady that is causing all this ruckus? She needs to step up and do her job. Oh but the town will not get rid of her because they are scared she will file another lawsuit. LMAO.. Not so Friendly Kenly anymore!!!

  5. It’ll end up just like I said on another article. They’ll never admit they screwed up with their woke hire. At the expensive of their citizens they’ll try and save their own careers and ride the ship until it sinks. And Bizzel and Doyle are Smithfield swampers so good luck with whom ever they recommend for police chief.

  6. Have you seen how much the sheriff office charges to patrol a town? Ask micro why they didn’t do it. Get ready kenly folks. Your taxes are about to go up and that’s after Biden’s already turned you upside down and shaken the change to pay for deputy’s because they can’t find officers. Takes at minimum 3 months just to get one certified. Gotta have the detective to do the background as well. That’s 3 months just to hire. Oh wait, gotta have them apply first and from what i hear, they haven’t had an application in more than a year.

  7. Pretty thankful i don’t live in kenly. Town board had to use your money to pay off a convicted ****** they hired first. It’s no surprise they kept this women. If they had to pay her off then everyone would see that they picked, interviewed and hired not one but two people who never should’ve been considered throwing hundreds of thousands down the drain. Sounds to me like you need a new board. I’d probably get used to seeing those highway patrol giving tickets on 301…those don’t get dropped by calling a friend that sits on the board.

  8. With a town of 2000 people, why do they need that much admin and police force at all? Really? Trim down, this is your chance!

    • @Jean Agree 100% — I made a similar observation a week ago…. 8 officers for a town that size?!?! They’ve been fleecing the citizens and treating the town as a gravy train long enough!

      • Obviously you’ve never stopped a car in kenly with a person who doesn’t want to go to jail. That officer should have to wait 4-10 minutes for a back up while they are in a fight. At 38k a year starting salary though, don’t worry. Being a police officer myself, i can safely say that you won’t have to worry about anyone applying and “riding a gravy chain” like you said. They didn’t apply before and now with this nonsense, y’all might as well go ahead and plan for your taxes to rise to pay for those deputy’s that don’t come cheap.👍🏻

  9. Citizen Here —– This just goes to show you that Council has NEVER supported the staff and NEVER will. Long term employees with 20+ years and Council members who have been on board 2-6 years and will not and do not support the staff. Those employees were dedicated through all the BAD decisions that Council made over the years going through roughly 16-20 Town Managers but yet they all stayed. Maybe they had enough of it and the new manager was the final straw. And they even allowed 1 manager to stay while being charged with sexual assault !!! And still, WHY I ask again, WHY would Council even consider hiring someone with a past lawsuit against another municipality??? That Council really needs training!!! What will come out of all this is nothing but a waste of taxpayers money. They will keep her, let time pass and say “Well, we couldn’t find anything, so we’re gonna keep her” but remember … If she did create a hostile working environment who in there right mind would want to go work for someone like that??? Look at Town Hall now. They can’t even open the doors to operate? There is a deputy there working to “protect” here??? I mean, this made NATIONAL news Kenly and yet, “it’s all good” here in Friendly Kenly. Clean house, start over from top to bottom. Hire locally !!! So if she stays they will have to hire a Chief + 5/6 officers, a town clerk, a billing clerk and what happened to the Parks and Rec??? Why haven’t they hired a FT Director for that position? Does Council not think we need a Parks and Rec Director FT? That position has been vacant all summer. Where are all the tournaments we use to have? All the programs we use to see and participate in? Huge loss of town revenue and they don’t care. I just can’t believe the lack of leadership this town has. Council doesn’t care. A Mayor who almost bankrupt the town once and we’re heading that way again with all these pending lawsuits and investigations. But, we will save money cause we have no staff to pay. Great job Mayor and Council, great job.

    • @Kenly Citizen, if you hate the council that much, WHY IN THE WORLD DO YOU KEEP RE-ELECTING THEM???!? You’ve had 79% *identical* council members for the past 16 years!

  10. Honestly, there’s been so many problems with Kenly PD, council, mayor, etc… It is a good thing that the dead-weight, hanger-oners, left. Maybe there’s a chance for the Town Manager to finally push Kenly forward — Lord knows it is needed!

  11. Pretty obvious that the ‘woke’ idea is blamed for everything.
    Which is simply not true…
    What is surprising, is that a town of your size can afford to pay a Living Wage to anyone.
    Yet, everyone screams that they’re paying to much in taxes.
    You can’t have it both ways.

    • Wrong. Case was withdrawn BY HER as soon as the courts told her that she had to actually show how she was discriminated against. You cant just claim racial bias with no proof.

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