Bessemer City opening new police department

BESSEMER CITY, NC (WBTV) - After 14 years, Bessemer City is getting ready to part ways with the Gaston County Police Department.

Bessemer City has a new department opening July 1.

City Manager James Inman said he was happy with the services Gaston County was providing, but at the end of the day, it was going to cost Bessemer City too much money to pay for that police service.

"It was just a financial decision for the city. We were notified by the County that it would be substantially increased to $1.2 million. We had been paying $430,000," Inman said.

Bessemer City will pay $600,000 in the next fiscal year to run the new department.

The annual cost will increase to $820,000 in three years, according to Inman.

The department will have four full-time officers and four part-time officers on staff. City leaders said that will result in a more noticeable police presence in Bessemer City.

WBTV also reached out to Gaston County officials to see how this change will impact the County. From what they said, it's too early to tell. Right now, the county is dealing with a multimillion dollar budget shortfall.