Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
BAILEY — The town will have additional police coverage with the addition of a new part-time officer.
Starlena Osborne of Zebulon joined the Bailey Police Department and took her oath of office June 8.
Osborne is apparently fitting in nicely. On Sunday, Chief Steve Boraski posted a picture of Osborne shooing a turtle across the road to the police department’s Facebook page.
“Officer Osborne following in Officer (Grace) Kane’s footsteps by saving a turtle while on patrol,” Boraksi wrote.
Boraski posted a photo of Kane saving a turtle back in May.
“Officer Osborne started this week and brings new energy and a great personality to our department,” Boraski said. “I expect good things from her for the town of Bailey and the police department.”
New to law enforcement, Osborne spent three months as a patrol deputy with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office prior to taking the job in Bailey.
“I wanted to work for a smaller department,” Osborne said.
Bailey is about as small as a police force gets with a chief, one full-time officer and four part-timers.
Boraski said he’s happy to welcome aboard a new part-time officer, but said he needs full-time police.
“I could use more full-time officers,” Boraski said.
While all three municipalities in southern Nash County employ part-time officers, Middlesex and Spring Hope have more than twice the number of full-time officers as Bailey. Middlesex has five full-time officers who protect a population of 850. Spring Hope has six full-time officers for a population of 1,270, according to PoliceOne, a website dedicated to providing information to and about all levels of law enforcement.
Bailey’s population is around 580, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Osborne is the first officer Boraksi has been able to hire since becoming chief last year.
“It would be great to be able to hire a third full-time officer,” Boraski said. “We could provide 24/7 coverage.”
Boraski said he’s grateful for Mayor Thomas Richards’ help and knows he’s doing what he can with the town’s budget.
Richards said Bailey just doesn’t have the money for more full-time police. He said he’s working on finding funding for more part-time officers.