HOMER, LA (KSLA) -
“It hit me dead in the face,” Homer Police Chief turned ex-chief Russell Mills says about Monday’s vote by town leaders to disband its police force.
Homer’s five-member council moved to get rid of its police force effective March 1. Homer’s police department had 8 officers, one chief and one secretary.
Of the department’s 10 members, only two will remain — a captain and a lieutenant — until August as a transition goes on with the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Department, Mills says.
Mills, though no longer chief, says he is slated to be Homer’s new town marshal.
KSLA News 12 tried to reach out to Homer’s mayor and city council but was unsuccessful.
Claiborne Parish NAACP official Terrence Willis describes tensions between Homer’s Mayor and five-member city council and the police force.
More important, Willis says he is concerned about how the chief, an elected official, can be fired with just a vote of the council.
HOMER, La. -
The Town of Homer council voted Monday night to dismantle and phase out the Homer Police Department, effective March 1.
The vote, which was tallied during the special meeting rides the heels of much discussion regarding the town’s expenditures and said financial woes, alongside a heavy raise given to a police department captain by the council earlier last week.
The town opted to keep two of its top-ranking policemen until August, while electing to demote Chief Russell Mills to city marshal. The
change will tremendously drop Mills’ salary to roughly $400 a month.
During a regular meeting session earlier this month the council voted to increases the salary of the police department’s single captain. The move hiked that employee’s salary to a rate far higher than that of the police chief.
Officers have not been officially notified.
Municipal government also decided to eliminate term limits for the mayor and the council during the special meeting.
Calls placed to Homer Mayor Alecia Smith were not immediately returned.
HOMER – The Homer Board of Selectmen voted unanimously during a special meeting tonight to disband the police department effective March 1.
In the discussion leading up to the vote, the selectmen discussed “numerous reasons for their decision,” Mayor Alecia N. Smith said in a statement to The Times. Included are concerns of leadership, historical budget overruns and numerous pending lawsuits.
Smith consulted after the meeting with Sheriff Ken Bailey about a transition that would have deputies in charge of law enforcement in the town.
“There are numerous details to be worked out dealing with this transition. However, citizens should know that safety will always be a priority and will not be compromised,” she stated in the brief news release.