The town of Ashford plans to cut its police department's dispatch unit. Leaving its employees without a job and the small community angry.
"We deal with these people every day whether it's at the diner, the grocery store or passing them on the street. This a town that still waves to everybody; we know everybody.... Do I think it's going to take away? Yea I really do. It's going to take away grassroots community policing. Things that the larger departments are trying to train their men to do," said Ashford Police Chief, Jim Stanley.
Chief Stanley has already received numerous calls of complaint about the decision. But the mayor says the decision was made for a reason... The city's revenue just barely surpasses its expenditures.
"I had to make a decision... Whether or not by next year I wanted to have to borrow money to pay payroll. If you're borrowing money to pay payroll then that means your expenditures outweigh your revenue. And the eventual process of that is that the city of Ashford would eventually go bankrupt. Is this an easy decision for me? No... No it's not," said Ashford Mayor, Jonathan Grecu.
Cutting the unit would save the city over 100,000 dollars in salaries alone.
"I don't like it. I don't like it for the citizens of Ashford but I understand the business end of it. When you have trouble and have the possibility of not making payroll what would be worse? So again my heart is with the department and the citizens but I've got to understand the business end of it," said Stanley.
Once the unit is done away with the Houston County E-911 dispatch center will take over. The unit will be open until the end of this month.