Local News

Roseboro police department closes doors

Posted December 12, 2008 4:20 p.m. EST

— A nearly 60-year-old tradition ended in early December when Roseboro police officers ceded the streets to Sampson County sheriff's deputies.

Since Dec. 1, the Sampson County Sheriff's Office has taken responsibility for the town of 1,500 under a contract with the town. The contract provides that the sheriff's office will hire four deputies to assigned to Roseboro.

Town leaders decided to close the department amid troubles hiring qualified personnel. Roseboro will pay $189,00 up front to hire the deputies, but will save about $70,000 a year under the arrangement, officials said.

Town commissioners said they had been having trouble finding a qualified replacement for the police chief who resigned in May. Interim Police Chief Anita Merritt stepped down in September on the same day a captain was arrested for buying a vehicle transmission with town money.

Roseboro's police force would have been fully staffed with five workers, but in its last days, employed two officers.