Mayor: Police department won’t be dissolved anytime soon

Published 12:26 am Thursday, February 10, 2011

Daily News Staff

“It ain’t going to happen,” Washington Mayor Archie Jennings said Thursday afternoon regarding the dissolving of the Washington Police Department and the absorption of its law-enforcement duties by the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office anytime soon.
Jennings’ remarks came after he reviewed a copy of a request asking the city to provide any e-mails between city officials or between city officials and county officials regarding such discussion. Copies of the request were hand-delivered to city officials at the Municipal Building just before 5 p.m. Thursday.
City officials said they would comply with the request, if any such e-mails existed.
During a two-day period, the Washington Daily News received information that city officials and county officials had held meetings and engaged in conversations concerning the possibility of disbanding the police department and turning over its law-enforcement duties to the sheriff’s office — or merging the two law-enforcement agencies.
Harry Meredith, chief deputy at the sheriff’s office, confirmed Thursday afternoon that he had discussed the matter with Councilman Doug Mercer.
Thursday evening, the Daily News sent e-mails to City Council members, asking them what they knew, if anything, about the issue. As of 6:30 p.m., they had not responded. Two Beaufort County commissioners also had received requests for comment, with one of them responding as of Thursday afternoon.
For additional coverage, see future editions of the Washington Daily News.