Defunding the police: Police chief resigns after three months on the job, citing budget issues and lacking resources

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Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

MORRISON, CO – After only having held the position for three months, the Morrison Police chief has handed in her resignation. In the chief’s resignation letter, she pointed to issues ranging from lacking resources to budgetary issues.

In her October 7th letter, Chief Misty Siderfin cited a list of grievances that have prompted her to resign from her position as police chief.

In her resignation letter, Chief Siderfin said she’s “unable to continue within this role due to the limited resources, lack of financial stability and budgeting for the Police Department, demands for the police department to support its own budget, lack of transparency, and extremely low numbers of quality applicants for the current vacancies.”

In August, Chief Siderfin requested the Town Board to approve a six-month contract with the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office to provide law enforcement services to Morrison while she rebuilt the Morrison Police Department – as the department had lost several officers to other agencies in an effort to seek higher pay.

This past September, officers’ salaries did get a bump from $43,000 to $55,000 annually, and Chief Siderfin went to work advertising open positions for three officers, a detective, and a sergeant position. However, out of the five positions advertised, there are only seven applicants total that are progressing to phone interviews.

With the chief’s recently handed in resignation, it’s unclear whether the interview processes for those seven applicants will move forward.

Chief Siderfin was hired on as the Morrison Police chief back in early July, with her having boasted a strong resume rife with relevant qualifications and a strong background in community policing.

Not to mention, she also totes experience in the realm of building up smaller police departments from the ground up – as she did the same feat back in 2019 in the town of Severance. But clearly, the issues afflicting her current department have left an unsavory impact on Chief Siderfin.

However, with her leaving the role on October 21st, town officials haven’t crafted a means to navigate the void she’ll be leaving.

Kara Winters, Morrison’s town manager, has yet to comment on the matter or the issues raised in Chief Siderfin’s resignation letter.

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Police chief and all but two officers resign after ongoing attacks from city council: ‘Are you happy now?’

(Originally published October 8th, 2021)

HOLDENVILLE, OK – Four police officers, including the chief, have resigned in Holdenville, citing issues with the City Council. The resignations leave the city with only two full-time officers patrolling the streets.

The four resignations were handed in by the officers during the first week of October. The officers cited political interference as the reason for their decisions.

Former Officer Cameron Grizzle called the situation a “political war” while speaking out following a City Council meeting held Tuesday night.  He continued:

“The last thing I want is politics being put in my life. I just want to be able to do my job and go home.”

Grizzle said he had issues with City Council member Bill Freeman, who he accused of ordering him to make an unlawful arrest. He said Freeman called him demanding he arrest a thief caught on video, despite the law requiring an arrest warrant prior. Grizzle explained:

“I have to work within the law. There is a certain arrest I had to get an arrest warrant on. I couldn’t just go to his house and arrest him out of his front door for the crime that was committed. It was a misdemeanor not committed in my presence.

“I did it fully within the law. I get it he was frustrated, but I can’t break the law.”

Another former officer, Billy Robertson, resigned the same day saying officers were “getting railroaded”:

“They (City Council) can’t tell us how to do our jobs because they have no idea.”

Freeman denied the allegations and referred the media to his Facebook page. On the page, Freeman said he never told the officer to make an arrest:

“I asked him if he at least went to the subject to talk to him about what happened and that there is video and direct him to leave her alone as they had been harassing her earlier. 

The answer was no because he was native American….I reminded him that he is crossed deputized.  I asked about a report…he said he took a statement.  I asked if he contacted Lighthorse….answer was no. 

“Yes, I truly got frustrated and angry as I felt that this is exactly what I had had so many other citizens complain about.  The lack of follow through and lack of making the victim feel validated and safe. 

I asked him to PLEASE just go over there and make her feel safe! I asked him, what if this was your wife, or mother or sister or daughter that for weeks have been violated and made to feel scared?

And then when you call the ones that are supposed to protect you, you get blown off and nothing is done!”

In what could only be described as a ranting series of Facebook posts, Freeman did admit to sending an apologetic text to Grizzle following the incident:

“Lastly…Text message to Grizzle from me. Sept 22.  “Just wanted to apologize for getting mad at you. It was a bad situation and I let my wanting to help a friend that I considered was in a bad situation get the best of me. You know I have the utmost respect for you guys and always enjoyed visiting with yall (sic). 

Regardless I got frustrated at the system and took it out on you and that wasn’t fair to you.  Stay safe and glad to see you back working for us.  Anything I can do for yall, just a phone call or text away.”

During Tuesday’s council meeting, the resignation of the police chief was read aloud. Former Chief Conny Clay cited similar concerns in her letter, pointing directly toward Councilman Freeman and Councilwoman Amber Orr.

Clay wrote in the letter:

“Last April when Bill Freeman was elected along with three other new council members, the council quickly turned against me. It became apparent that Freeman’s goal was to replace both the mayor and myself. He set out to make my position into an elected office, rather than appointed, which would eliminate my position as chief.

“Throughout recent weeks, Freeman and Amber Orr have become much more aggressive toward me and the police department, including profanity toward a police officer and myself when Freeman abused his power as a member of the city council and ordered a police officer to make an illegal arrest.

Following the incident, his wife posted on social media about how sorry and worthless the police department is.”

Clay mentioned a September 27 meeting where Freeman and Orr attempted to revoke a take-home vehicle allotted to the chief, and to change the position of Chief of Police into an elected position.

Clay went on to mention an open letter sent to the City Council by Hughes County Sheriff Marcia Maxwell. In the letter, the sheriff publicly criticized Clay and the department:

“I was shocked at this unprofessionalism and public criticism from a fellow law enforcement officer. If I ever have a problem with a fellow officer of the law, I handle it privately and discreetly.

“I did agree with Sheriff Maxwell that the city council should stay out of police business and stop trying to micro- manage the department, however, I couldn’t believe she chose to tell the entire city instead of coming to me personally. This for me was the final straw.”

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“Blue flu”: Officers (who can’t strike) call out sick to protest working conditions in Illinois

(Originally published October 5th, 2021)

ROBBINS, IL – Police officers in the village of Robbins will be returning to work following numerous call outs by officers in protest over working conditions with the police department.

Since it is illegal for police officers to go on a strike, the officers instead staged a walkout in an effort to have their grievances addressed.

Earlier in October, the Village of Robbins Police Department experienced a litany of call outs from police officers. Reportedly, out of the 14 police officers employed with the department, as many as 10 were not showing up for their assigned shifts.

The issues sparking the walkout pertained to officers feeling as though they were underpaid, lacking the proper resources to do their job, and overworked.

Detective Commander Hurman Mathus explained the shared sentiments from the officers who participated in the walkout, saying that the village can’t expect officers to “give their all” and in turn ignore the needs of those same officers:

“We want the village to understand we all stand in solidarity with each other; that we’re not going to continue to give our all, and the village is ignoring us and gives us nothing.”

While the staged walkout was ongoing, Robbins Mayor Darren Bryant assured residents that they were not going to be without emergency services – noting that neighboring law enforcement agencies would be responding in the event of an emergency.

And apparently the walkout accomplished what it was intended to, as Detective Commander Mathus confirmed that officers agreed to return to work on October 5th.

He stated that the police chief had agreed to acquire new protective vests for officers, as well as establishing a formal line of communication with department officials until officers can get into union contract negotiations.

Robbins village spokesman Sean Howard confirmed the aforementioned as well, saying that the amount of money allocated for the protective vests is unclear as of this time, but that it was a contingency for the officers to return to work.

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