Lumberton's police force has been practically cut in half overnight.
The board of aldermen decided Tuesday night to fire Police Chief Mike Childress and his assistant chief. Two others on the force also resigned.
The four departures leave the town with just four full-time officers and two part-timers.
Lumberton Mayor Pro Tem Miriam Holder would not give a reason behind the firings, saying only that it was a personnel matter.
"It was something that was coming," Holder says. "It had to do with personnel matters and we had an investigation and we feel like we did the right thing."
Is the town safe with half a dozen police officers?
"They need more than that," Childress says. "I know that those six will do what they can do. But they will be working a lot more than they're used to until they can get some more people on board."
Childress says he will run for Marion County sheriff next year.
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