Searching again after Petersburg officer quits week into the job


During the May Petersburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen monthly meeting, Police Chief Matthew Griffy told the board that he had hired a new police officer who would be working nights and weekends. Residents attending the meeting gave a round of applause because the search for an additional police officer had been ongoing for almost a year and many citizens had been asking the board when an officer would be hired.

“When are we getting more police protection at night,” resident Marilyn Haislip asked the board at the March meeting. When Mayor Jolly told her, “we’re looking for a new officer,” she asked if anyone had applied for the job, adding, “We definitely need someone at night.”

Less than a week after taking the job, the officer quit. Mayor Logan Jolly said “we were disappointed,” adding that the officer decided “the schedule wasn’t going to work even though we had agreed upon it.” Starting pay was $15 an hour.

The mayor also said “we’re going to pull out all the stops on advertising” [the job vacancy], as the board and police chief begin the search to hire another officer.

At the request of Alderman Rita Cowan, the board has scheduled a workshop so everyone can better understand everything that the Charter and Codes cover. During the April and May board meetings, residents came before the mayor and board of aldermen looking for answers and solutions in dealing with next door neighbors not properly taking care of their property and how it impacts their day-to-day lives. Other residents have expressed concern over how long residential construction projects are taking and asked how long a building permit was good for. After being told by the mayor that a building permit is good for two years, that resident said “I feel like nothing is going to be done - nothing!”

That meeting is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 27 at the town hall.