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November 14, 2013

Petway resigns as Princeville police chief

TARBORO — PRINCEVILLE — Joey Petway's plans to bring the Princeville Police Department up to standards with 21st century technology and training will soon come to a halt. The 25-year veteran police officer announced that he will resign his post Nov. 27.

Petway said he personally hand delivered a resignation letter to each of the board members Wednesday. He is currently serving in his third year as Princeville's top cop.

"I was shocked when he handed the letter to me," said Commissioner Gwen Knight. "I kinda knew he was looking for another job. I hope him the best in what ever agency that he choses to go with."

Petway said the time is "right to leave now."

"I have an opportunity that will allow me to reach my maximum potential in law enforcement," he said. "I'm hoping that the town will move forward with the new administration and meet their vision with the police department."

Petway didn't share where he was going nor what position he will fill.

"I'm not at the liberty of disclosing any details at this time pending conditional requirements that must be met," he said.

Petway's "shocking" decision comes on the heels of the municipal election that replaced three officials. Mayor-elect Bobbie Jones and commissioners-elect JoeRoam Myrick and Pam Ransome will replace mayor Priscilla Everette-Oates and commissioners Calvin Sherrod and Isabelle Purvis-Andrews.

"I've been expecting this," said Commissioner Ann Howell. "It happened at an unfortunate time because we are preparing for the change of command. But I wish Joey the best."

Over the last several meetings, Petway was forced to answer extensive questions from Sherrod during the town's monthly meeting. He appeared frustrated by some of the questions. In the October meeting, after being drilled, Petway finished his report by singing a spiritual, "I need thee."  

Petway didn't say whether or not Sherrod's antics led him to search for a new job. He only focused on the positives.

"There was a lot I would like to have done but time did not allow me to," he said. "I'm proud of the things that I did accomplished.

During Petway's short stay, he received grants that allowed the town to purchase computers, a Jeep that is used during inclement weather and two Dodge Chargers. Funds for another cruiser are projected to be in place in the 2013-2014 budget.

With the loss of Petway, the new administration will take office with another major job to fill. The town manager slot is also vacant. That position is expected to be filled in January.

The Princeville police department is currently operating with four full-time officers and two part-timers. Petway was searching to fill a vacant full-time position before he announced his resignation.

Petway offered his gratitude to the board of commissioners and the citizens for allowing him to serve.

"I learned a lot by working in Princeville," he said. "I will take that knowledge everywhere that I go. I will also take with me the relationship that I forged with the senior citizens. They always encouraged me and kept me going forward.

"I wish the town the best."

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