Rocky Mount’s police chief is set to return to work Monday after being placed on administrative leave about a month ago.

Chief Ken Criner’s return comes after the conclusion of a review of a set of complaints lodged about him.

Town Manager James Ervin said the complaints were internal and non-criminal in nature. He declined to reveal more Friday, citing personnel confidentiality, but he said a thorough inquiry was done and the matter resolved.

“He is returning to work,” Ervin said.

Criner was placed on leave April 7 after three complaints were received about him in two days, according to a department memo circulated at the time.

The leave was standard protocol and not reflective of any presumptions about the merits of the complaints, Ervin said.

An outside agency was asked to lead the review to ensure impartiality. Ervin declined to discuss the outcome or any steps taken afterward. He also would not say who conducted the review.

Criner’s status last month originally was announced as paid administrative leave. When asked Friday if Criner remained on paid leave throughout the process, Ervin said a portion was paid. He declined to discuss specifics.

The town remains confident in Criner’s ability to lead the department, Ervin said, and is moving forward with a focus on helping its community navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Criner, who has 33 years in law enforcement, has built a strong track record over his career, Ervin said, but the town acted appropriately by giving recent matters serious, thorough attention.

The chief’s annual salary of $93,000 will remain unchanged, he said.

Criner, reached by phone Friday, declined to comment on the events of the past month.

Criner joined the Rocky Mount Police Department in 2010 after previously serving with the Roanoke Police Department. He was tapped to become chief in 2014.



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