Petersburg battling numerous resignations from city workers, inc - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Petersburg battling numerous resignations from city workers, including police and fire

(Source: NBC12) (Source: NBC12)
PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) -

As the City of Petersburg works to fill several critical positions, it will also have to focus on its emergency services departments.

Sources say some 20 police officers have resigned over the past two months. There’s a similar scenario within the fire department as firefighters say many of their counterparts are leaving left and right.

There's a likely reason all of this is happening: across-the-board pay cuts for city workers. First responders were not excluded.

Right now, the City of Petersburg is working to solve its latest homicide. 47-year-old Anthony Tucker was shot and killed Wednesday night on Mistletoe Street near Peabody Middle. Thursday, officers were back on the scene looking for clues - but they're doing more with less.

"I don't know if the safety in Petersburg is going to be up to par," said neighbor Veronica Parham.

She is concerned about the number of officers resigning from the force.

A fireman said firefighters are leaving for Hampton, Colonial Heights, and Prince George. It comes after city workers got a 10 percent pay cut to help with the city's budget crisis.

Parham doesn't blame them for leaving.

"No, I do not, because it takes money to survive today," Parham said.

When asked if he regretted voting to cut the salaries, Vice-Mayor Sam Parham said, "We did at the time what was in the best interest of the city, because we were not going to make payroll."

The council member says it was a tough decision, but he's asking first responders for patience as he pushes for changes in the nearly part of next year.

"Our first priority will be restoring that 10 percent to our emergency service workers first," he added.

It's a situation that's even impacting the top. The Fire Chief is set to retire any day now and the Police Chief's position has been posted on the city's website.

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