A city council meeting in Indian Trail became heated Saturday over the issue if the town should have its own police force.
"It was a circus," Councilman Robert Allen said. "It was a circus. We had a complete loss of control in that meeting. I have never in my life witnessed such chaos."
The town's contract with the Union County Sheriff's Office expires this summer. This week, the sheriff told Eyewitness News the town handed him a new contract, with new terms, that he feels are unacceptable.
He thinks it's a ploy to end their deal and let Indian Trail create its own police department.
That's exactly what Councilwoman Darlene Luther proposed last night.
"We were not going to be manipulated," Luther said. "We wanted a fair response to a contract."
She believes the contract doesn't do enough for Indian Trail, and the town would be better off standing on its own. Allen agrees.
Eyewitness News met him as he was filing an accident report for damage done to his truck during the meeting.
Allen thinks it's because people are so angry over the issue. Opposing council members also talked to Eyewitness News about the chaos Saturday night.
"We were there yesterday to approve the sheriff's contract," Councilman David Cohn said. "We had talked about it, and it seemed like a done deal."
A council member who would have sided with the sheriff was out of town. Cohn said the mayor had told him on Friday that he would support a contract. Then during the meeting, he flip-flopped.
"I learned yesterday that just because somebody tells you something 24 hours earlier, doesn't mean that's what they're going to do," Cohn said.
Ultimately the mayor was the deciding vote, and he agreed to stick with the sheriff's office.
It's not a done deal. A contract still has to be signed.