Pocomoke officials break silence after police chief leaves
Pocomoke City is once again under intense scrutiny, this comes after it was announced that another police chief would leave town.
On Monday, 47 ABC confirmed that Chief Harden resigned. We also learned that the reason for the split could be the result of a disagreement regarding community policing.
The Pocomoke City Manager says both the city and chief of police agreed to cut ties. 47 ABC reached out to city officials for an on camera interview, but they refused to speak or give further details, calling it a "personnel matter"
However community leaders are concerned about the issues involving police and the city.
"If we have no consistency how in the world are we going to ever get something done here, says Pastor Wayne Ayer.
The Pocomoke pastor tells 47 ABC he is aware of the issues surrounding the department, including the firing of former police chief Kelvin Sewell back in 2015.
A firing that was believed to have been racially motivated.
"That was an intense situation. I think racism is going to be a problem in Pocomoke City for a long time. If racism is a problem at city hall, then city hall needs to look at their own hearts and address the issue and take care of it," says Pastor Wayne.
47 ABC also attempted to talk to residents and businesses, but many of them refused to talk on camera. They tell us off camera that they are aware of Chief Harden leaving, but are afraid to speak about the police and the issues involving the city.
In the meantime the city says the police department will be led by two lieutenants and they are in no rush to hire a new chief. They also say that they will not be advertising for a new chief for a least 90 days.
Pastor Wayne adds that he hopes the new chief strengthens relationships and is visible and present in the community.
Esther Troast, the acting Pocomoke mayor, also released a statement in response to Chief Harden leaving.
"This is a personnel matter, I have no comment other than Mr. Harden will be missed, I appreciate all that he did for our Police Department while fulfilling the duties of Chief of Police and I wish him well moving forward."