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Archive for March 6th, 2009

Town is without a Police Force and Several city Officials!

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Ringling Police Chief, City Officials Resign

RINGLING — A dispute between officials has left a small southern Oklahoma town without a police force, and the mayor, vice mayor and city attorney have decided to quit, too.Ringling Mayor Jerry Reid said he and police Chief Jeremy Wilson were among those who resigned from their positions on Tuesday. Reid said his resignation won’t be effective until he provides something in writing.

“There are things that I need to tie up before it’s official,” Reid said by phone Tuesday night.

According to Reid, Wilson was the only paid member of the force and nine others “didn’t draw a penny.”

Reid said he tried to talk Wilson out of quitting, but after five other meetings regarding his employment, Wilson was “tired of being on the chopping block.”

A few weeks ago, the council held an emergency meeting to consider a request to fire the entire police department.

“He’d managed to get past it, but this time it looked like the three council members were getting together and were going to fire him over some crap that wasn’t true anyway,” Reid said. “I resigned, the vice mayor resigned and the city attorney resigned.”

Phone calls to council members Terry Blackwell and Mary Elliot went unanswered Wednesday. There was no telephone listing for the third council member, Tony Bortz, and a message left at Ringling City Hall also was not immediately returned.

The Jefferson County sheriff’s office will take over patrol duties until a more permanent solution is found.

Reid said part of the dispute involves a “dope problem” in the town of about 1,100.”We’ve got these special interest groups that got aggravated that there were too many patrolmen on the streets. To me, when a police officer is patrolling the streets, I feel safe. For people who got something to hide, it’s worrisome when a police officer patrols on the streets.”

There also has been controversy surrounding the investigation into the family of two teenage girls who, along with a relative, were killed in a fire last month.

“Maybe this will wake up the town,” Reid said. “Local governments don’t get the very best people at times because nobody wants to do it.

“Constantly, you’re stuck with dummies.”

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie