Candor, N.C. - The town of Candor nearly lost its entire police force last year when commissioners voted for fire four of the town's five police officers. Now, the town needs to pay unemployment benefits to those officers.
Candor had a small pool of money to fall back on in an emergency. Monday, we learned firing the four officers ripped away that safety blanket. Candor will have to pay $50,000 to $70,000 in unemployment to the four fired officers. The town has an $800,000 budget.
At this point, only one officer has found a new job. Town consultant Ron Niland told commissioners they need to take a serious look at the budget. He said they're going to need to make cuts and try to find ways to make money. Niland even recommended eliminating his own job to save money.
Niland also suggested charging people for trash pickup. The town currently does not charge residents for that service.
However, the mayor said he does not want to raise taxes. After realizing how much the firings will cost the town, WFMY News 2 reporter Mark Geary asked the mayor if he regretted letting the officers go.
"It's done. I can't change it. We, as a town of candor, we're going to move on. We're responsible for paying the guys and hopefully they can all get jobs," Candor Mayor Richard Britt said. "We're going to have to do the best we can to raise that money. It's not a state problem. It's the town of Candor's problem. We're going to have to take care of problems at the town level."
Monday afternoon, the board voted to hire a new part-time police officer. That individual once worked for current police chief Johnny Fulp's private police agency. Fulp also suggested hiring three more part-time officers, but commissioners have not voted on that yet
Commissioners will have a public hearing about the budget in June.