VINCENT, Ala. (WBRC) – We’ve spoken to residents of Vincent about the city disbanding its police department following allegations that the city’s deputy police chief sent racist text messages.
Lois Garrett was born and raised in Vincent. When she heard about what was happening, she said she couldn’t believe it.
“It knocked me out because one of the policemen, the chief, I always thought so highly of him,” Garrett said.
Garrett then posted it on Facebook for the world to see.
“For me, it was a punch in the gut. Like going back to the 1930s and 40s and I often forget that we’re still not there. It hurts,” Garrett said. hurt and embarrassed because I thought we were better than that.”
Garret said at the August 2 city council meeting that she stood up and said this had to stop.
The council voted on Thursday to suspend the chief and deputy chief, and the only remaining officer resigned overnight.
This leaves the town without a police department and relies on the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to patrol the town, but Vincent resident Robert Franklin doesn’t think it’s a good idea.
“People tend to care more if they know you and that’s one of the things people in this area care about,” Franklin said. “We would like to have our own officers who we know care about our city and not just work because they work for the county.”
The city is working on a long-term contract with the county to provide Vincent with a full-time deputy to focus on patrols.
The council last night promised to continue its investigation into who sent the text message, even though the police service is in the process of disbanding.
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