LUMBERTON, MS (WDAM) - Wednesday, the Lumberton Police Dept. will only be half the size it was the day before, after the town's Board of Aldermen voted to retain only the police chief and three full-time officers.
It's unclear from Mayor Ben Winston exactly how many officers were fired or how many may have left to take other jobs, but the Board voted 4-0 Tuesday night to keep Chief Elsie Cowart and three other full-time officers.
Winston said "severe financial concerns" prompted the Board's action and he said public safety will not be affected.
"We're not at a point to address what we need, we're addressing right now what we've got to have to continue to provide safety and services that the city must provide," Winston said.
Chief Cowart said her department is losing four of its eight full-time officers and she said she's very concerned about the safety of the public.
"(I'm) very concerned," said Cowart. "It's a safety issue for citizens and officers. But, the mayor has assured me he'll get cooperation from the Lamar County Sheriff's Dept.," she said.
Cowart said four part-time officers will continue to work with her department.