A police department in Walker County’s town of Sipsey is no more, leaving residents concerned for their safety.
Sipsey’s police chief said they weren’t given a reason for the sudden closure, leaving nearly 500 residents without a police chief and a six-person part-time reserve force.
A notice from Sipsey Mayor Jerry Saddler was posted outside Sipsey Town Hall, where the department is housed, reading:
“The Reserve Law Enforcement Officer Program of the Sipsey Police Department is suspended and determination of its continued existence will be made at the next town council meeting. A special meeting may be called for such determination, and if so, notice will be posted accordingly.”
The department’s doors are locked and patrol cars are impounded behind the town hall.
In a police department Facebook page post, Sipsey Police Chief Mareshah Moses said they encourage Sipsey’s nearly 500 residents to call the Walker County Sheriff’s Office for assistance if they need help.
Sipsey Police officers said they’re still reeling, because the loss of a law enforcement office means residents are losing so much more than speeding ticket revenue.
“Within one month, we wrote over 70 citations to try to help protect the citizens,” said Reserve Officer Justin Gant. We’ve done multiple drug busts. We have confiscated many weapons. We’re very frustrated and we’re trying to do everything the right way. We’re here to follow the law and protect the citizens of this town.”
Sipsey residents said they’re concerned about the community’s safety, and are worried crime will take over with fewer law enforcement around.
“I think it’s crazy because they were just cleaning up Sipsey,” said Christine Cooper. “Now they’ve got to close down.”
A town hall meeting date has not yet been announced.