Nearly entire police force of Missouri town resigns, citing “safety concerns” after first black mayor elected

Residents of a tiny Missouri city say they have no idea why five of their six police officers and several other top officials resigned after their first black mayor was elected.

Tyrus Byrd, 40, was sworn into office in Parma last week, but her election victory was overshadowed by the departure of the majority of the police force, the city attorney, clerk and water treatment supervisor.

The officials all cited ‘safety concerns’ in their resignation letters, the outgoing mayor says.

There are 713 people living in the community and, according to the US Census Bureau, 57percent are white and 41percent are black.

Mrs Byrd, who was sworn in on Wednesday, told the Daily Mail Online on Sunday that she is still not sure why the city employees quit.

Her father, former city board member Simon Wofford, insists his daughter has a good relationship with the police department.

KFVS-TV broke the story last week. Citizens rallied to Mrs Bryd’s side, saying that the town didn’t even need as many officers as it had.

‘I think it was pretty dirty the way they all quit without giving her a chance, but I don’t think they hurt the town with quitting because who needs six police for 740 people?’ resident Martha Miller told KFVS.

The run-down city, which is 175 miles south of St. Louis in southeastern Missouri, has suffered a spate of break-ins recently.

Despite the surge in crime and the comparatively large police force, residents told the TV station that they almost never saw cops patrolling the streets.

Mrs Byrd told Daily Mail Online that the election of the first African American mayor should be celebrated instead of focusing on the departures of city employees.

Randall Ramsey, the outgoing mayor who has spent 36 years in the job, told the Daily Mail Online he also has no idea why the group quit.

He added that most of the officers are part time and work for other towns in the surrounding area.

He told KFVS that the officers cited ‘safety concerns’ when they resigned.    

Barry Aycock, who has served as an alderman, told the Daily Mail Online the election and the consequences are the same as usual and he hardly sees the police out on patrol.

He added there is little crime in the city, aside from a spate or burglaries in recent weeks.

Source: The DailyMail

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