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The city later today is expected to release a statement on the unpaid administrative leaves of Roanoke Rapids Police Department Chief Bobby Martin and Captain Jamie Hardy.

That announcement came after a city council closed session Tuesday evening in which the matter was discussed.

Councilman Wayne Smith opted to leave the closed session, saying on his way out, “Until an official report comes out, I don’t want to know anything about it.”

City Attorney Geoffrey Davis said he and City Manager Kelly Traynham would be providing a written statement, most likely expected around 4 this afternoon.

Davis, answering media questions outside Lloyd Andrews City Meeting Hall, said residents who want to know about the decision on March 10 to place the city’s two top-ranking law enforcement officers on administrative leaves will have to be patient. “The law places limitations on what we can reveal even with council consensus. It’s just a process.”

Asked whether there was wrongdoing on the part of Martin and Hardy, Davis said, “This is a non-disciplinary suspension they’re on right now.”

The city attorney called the non-disciplinary suspension a tool in the city’s personnel policy that most local governments have in effect. “It’s tool where there is a process being worked through. From a personnel standpoint it’s a pause button we can press to be able to make a determination and make more findings to determine whether this is a disciplinary matter or not.”

Davis declined to comment on what led to the decision to place the two on administrative leaves.

Answering another question, Davis said there should not be disruption in the services the police department provides. “Our acting chief is Gorton Williams. The PD is still patrolling the streets, they’re still making arrests. Detectives are still investigating cases. To my knowledge operations are continuing as they were before.”

Asked whether there was anything criminal which led to the suspensions, Davis said, “At this point we’re not at that point.”

Traynham did not have an immediate response but said she would be able to take questions after the city’s statement is released later today.