Future of White Hall police force still unclear - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Future of White Hall police force still unclear


Things are still up in the air with the police force in the town of White Hall.

The mayor says the town's police chief recently quit and after his departure, other officers followed suit.

While the mayor says it's not a problem that the police force is virtually nonexistent, some residents feel otherwise about not having a police presence. The issue was discussed at Thursday night's town council meeting.

White Hall Mayor James Walker says he has no idea why the police chief left. After that, two other officers did not return to work and the last remaining officer is currently on medical leave, the mayor said. The positions are all part time. 

In the meantime, the town is being patrolled by a Lowndes County sheriff's deputy.

During the meeting, a member of the council said he had never seen the deputy on patrol in the town and that he had been a recent victim of a break-in.

The mayor says he is working to get certified officers back on the force but that a decision on the future of the police department has not yet been made. He did not share residents concerns over safety. 

"It's not an issue. We're in the process of putting a viable force together with certified officers. The fact that we don't have one is not a big issue. Like I said, we have patrols through the county and we're working diligently to get that rectified," Walker told WSFA.

"It's always best to be protected in any case that you're in. When you're running a city, it needs to be protected. The citizens need to be protected. The land needs to be protected. So I'm very disappointed that we don't have a police department," said Joseph Maull, Lowndes County Community Council President. "We need all the amenities of life."

The mayor said he will have information for the town council on reassembling the police department at their next meeting. 

"Bear with me on that. You can't organize this overnight if you want professional results," Walker told the council. 

Also Thursday night came news that White Hall's longtime volunteer fire chief Stanley Watson, who also works for the city as the groundskeeper, was fired Wednesday. 

"I got fired yesterday on some complaints I don't know anything about. They won't let me know what the complaints are about. I've been here 27 years. Something has to be done about it," Watson told 12 News. 

"Watson was a contractual worker here. He defied his supervisor that gave him a directive not only the first time, this is the third time that this matter had happened. You don't stand there and yell at your supervisor when they're giving you a directive so I had no other choice but to dismiss him," Walker said. 
Powered by Frankly