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Five Bald Head Island public safety officers fired

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By Sam Hickman

 Five public safety officers with the village of Bald Head Island were fired Thursday, Aug. 28, according to termination letters sent to the Beacon from village director of communications Karen Williams.

Herbert Bryant, Thomas Cannon, Jesse Conner, Donald Koons and Nick Terrell were terminated last week after violating several village policies, village manager Calvin Peck wrote in his termination letters to the officers.

Bryant, Koons and Terrell were terminated for violating village policies related to sexual harassment, harassment, discourteous treatment of other employees and inappropriate electronic communications between July 25 and Aug. 15, the letters state.

Conner violated village policies related to discourteous treatment of other employees and inappropriate electronics communications while Cannon was terminated for violations related to harassment, discourteous treatment of other employees and inappropriate electronics communications, Peck wrote in the letters.

No details of the incidents that led the officers’ termination were given.

Bryant was hired in 2009, Cannon in 2008, Terrell in 2009, and both Koons and Conner in 2012. Terrell and Cannon were lieutenants with the department, while Koons, Conner and Bryant were officers.

Officers on the Bald Head Island Public Safety Department are cross-trained in fire, law enforcement, emergency medicine and water rescue. 

“The village of Bald Head Island announced that after a thorough investigation, five public safety personnel were dismissed for cause yesterday morning,” an Aug. 29 news release from the village of Bald Head Island reads. “The officers were released because of violations of internal policies. The village has adequate staff to continue all operations and will replace the officers.”

Peck said the actions were not criminal in nature.

“The actions of these officers constituted a violation of our internal policies, and although not criminal in nature, we determined that the acts were sufficiently harmful to warrant termination,” he said. “I applaud Dr. Caroline Mitchell, our director of public safety, for putting the interests of her employees ahead of public opinion. Leadership is defined in moments like this when the right path must take precedent over the easy path.”

 

Sam Hickman is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or shickman@brunswickbeacon.com.