The small town of Garden City, Missouri, is without a single police officer after it laid off its entire public safety force.
Located about 30 miles south of Kansas City, notified Chief Thomas Alber on Nov. 14 it would lay off 100 percent of the department, Fox4 reported. No explanation was given, and it isn’t clear if any staff will be replaced. The department has seven sworn officers and five civilian volunteers.
The police department tweeted that Alber would still be employed. “No explanation was given nor plans to staff GCMOPD beyond the Chief,” it wrote.
“No further guidance was given for pending criminal cases or coverage of the city when the chief is not on duty,” the department wrote in a Facebook post.
As of 2017, the city had a population of about 1,600.
Not the First Time
It’s not the first time this year that a town’s entire police force was fired or quit. In July, the four-person police department of Blandford, Massachusetts, resigned over safety concerns.
“Attention Blandford residents: If you have a police, fire or medical emergency, please continue to call 911 as you normally would. The entire Blandford Police Department resigned this evening, effective immediately,” the department’s Facebook page wrote in a now-deleted post.
As a result, 911 calls were handled by county officials and neighboring police departments, NBC News reported.
“The town is asking officers to patrol in cars that have no a/c, no snow tires, and no four-wheel drive, on days that have been 90-plus degrees, and previously in blizzard conditions. They are asking us to do this with no radio coverage, no real backup if needed, and all for $14 or $15 an hour,” a statement read.
Also in July, the entire police department of Southport, North Carolina, was put on leave after its chief and lieutenant were arrested, WECT reported at the time. Chief Gary Smith, 46, and Lt. Michael Christian Simmons, 48, were charged with several crimes, including conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses.
In 2016, the town of Bunker Hill, Indiana, saw its entire police force quit because the city’s leaders were engaged in “illegal, unethical, and immoral things,” NBC reported at the time. “This was our last effort to make a statement,” former Marshal Michael Thomison told the network.