Rocky Mount Police Department Sees Mass Exodus
Working conditions in the Rocky Mount Police Department have worsened to the point that sworn officers are leaving in droves.
Since 2020, the department has lost nearly 60% of their sworn officers. On June 1, 2020, the Rocky Mount, Virginia Police Department was already understaffed, and was working with 22 full-time sworn officers. Since that time, the department has lost an additional 12 officers.
This loss equals 140 years of law enforcement experience. Moreover, when you consider that the Town paid to send 5 of these officers to the Cardinal Criminal Justice Academy, and pay them while they attend, the Town lost more than $100,000. Additionally, the Town will spend hundreds of thousands more in defending the Chief against lawsuits regarding his toxic, hostile behavior.
These numbers do not include the Rocky Mount Police Department employees who remain there but are engaged in legal action against the department.
Such a loss must impact the ability of the department to fulfill its mission to the people of Rocky Mount.
Not according to Chief Criner.
In March 2019, with 21 officers, the RMPD reported that they had completed 1,898 Foot Patrols in the month of February 2019. During this same period in 2021, when the department was down to 12 full-time sworn officers, the RMPD reported completing 2,343 Foot Patrols in February 2021. Rocky Mount Police Chief Ken Criner wants you to believe that his staff has shrunk by 48% but they did 19% more work. In 2019, the average officer completed 90.4 foot patrols in 28 days. Criner reports that 12 officers completed 195.2 foot patrols in the same time frame in 2021.
That is a 215% increase in foot patrols with half the officers. The Chief of Police entered a report into the official record that would have you believe that his officers completed an average 14.6 foot patrols per shift in the month of February.
When is the last time you saw a Rocky Mount Police officer walking a beat?
It is important to note that the members of Town Council accepted the report as submitted without question.
According to an FBI report released in September of 2020, the Town of Rocky Mount has has a crime rate of 60.97 per one thousand residents.
According to a study published in “Journal of Crime and Justice,” crime has a direct impact on property values. Property value impacts almost every aspect of your life. Chief Criner’s inability to lead the police force is impacting what you may sell your house for, and/or what you may borrow against it.