Budget cuts leave Miss. town with one person on police force - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Budget cuts leave Miss. town with one person on police force

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Friars Point once had eight police officers, but now they are down to just one chief. Friars Point once had eight police officers, but now they are down to just one chief.
COAHOMA COUNTY, MS -

(WMC-TV) - Budget cuts have wiped out nearly the entire police department in Friars Point, Mississippi.

Friars Point once had eight police officers, but now they are down to just one chief. The decision was made to lay off nearly the entire department because the town is in debt.

Several patrol cars sit outside the Friars Point Police Department where Shelby Singleton used to work.

"Being without a job, you don't get no more difficult than that, you know I've got five kids and a wife," said Singleton.

Singleton and six other officers were given a letter of termination by the town. That leaves one chief and the Coahoma County Sheriff's Office, stationed about 20 minutes away, to protect people like Princess Ingram.

"I think every town needs their own police force," she said.

Newly elected mayor Catherine Miller says the decision was based on financial hardships.

"We have a $56,000 debt that we owe to the internal revenue service for payroll taxes," she said.

Alderwoman Delores Marshall Giles said she was irritated when she learned officers like Singleton received a letter using the word terminate. She says the board was told the officers could be hired back once the town got out of debt.

"None of them did anything to be terminated for. You have to have valid reason to terminate someone," said Giles.

The mayor predicts the town will not be out of a financial hole until 2014.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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