Timmonsville police not sure they'll get paid

Timmonsville Police Chief Michael Martin tells NewsChannel 15 he's waiting to learn if his officers will get their final paychecks. But town administrator Mark Fountain and treasurer Dora Lee tell us the officers were paid Thursday and will be paid for their last day.

Timmonsville Mayor Darrick Jackson sent a letter to Police Chief Martin Thursday, informing him that effective 8 p.m. Friday, May 11, the town's police department will cease to exist.

The move affects the department's four full-time and one part-time officer.

In the letter to Chief Martin, Mayor Jackson called the decision "difficult."

Jackson also sent a letter to Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone saying the town could no longer maintain its police department. He asked that the sheriff's office begin patrolling the town starting at 8 p.m. Friday when "the Chief of Police and all other officers will be relieved of duty."

Mayor Jackson has said the town needs to find $400,000 to cover overdue bills.

Chief Martin says he has a lot to get done by the time his department closes tonight. He has to notify the SC Criminal Justice Academy that his department is disbanding, and his officers' certification status is now inactive.

Martin says he also has to log all of the evidence for the Florence County Sheriff's Office. He says that's a nearly impossible task to do in one day, but he will diligently work to get it all done.

Sheriff's deputies are expected to take possession of all equipment and cars belonging to the Timmonsville Police Department, but Martin says the details of that transfer haven't been worked out at this point.

Timmonsville town council will meet tonight at 7:30 to officially vote to shutdown its police force.