Tallulah police say mayor is putting city in harm's way - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Tallulah police say mayor is putting city in harm's way

Posted: Updated: March 13, 2012 06:27 PM

Story by: Jordyn Taylor

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Tallulah's police chief is speaking out about being forced by the mayor to lay off more officers.

"I can't force the police chief to whatever," said Mayor Eddie Beckwith. "But I can refuse to sign the checks."

Beckwith said if police Chief James Vaughn doesn't lay-off two officers,  the police department will not receive paychecks this Friday.

The mayor said the city is in a financial crisis and cuts must be made in every department - and that includes public safety.

"All of the departments have complied with the amended budget except for the police department," said Beckwith.

The mayor said that the sheriff's office has agreed to back up the police department because they're short staffed, but Chief Vaughn said that's not enough to keep citizens out of harms way.

"What if they're out in the parish doing something and my officers need some back up here in town? Who's responsible?" said Vaughn. "I have to make sure my town is safe.

"I can't see us at a population of 7500 or less, having 12 or 10 officers as a problem," said  Beckwith. "It doesn't seem reasonable to me that we can be in any danger whatsoever.

"We got more criminals than we do officers," said Vaughn. "Everyone knows that."

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