Georgia town shuts down police department as part of budget cutting

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SMITHVILLE, Ga. — Budget cuts have led city leaders in a small south Georgia town to shut down its police department.

The Smithville City Council decided last week to lay off all four officers, WALB-TV reported. Mayor Jerry Myrick said that budget cuts caused the city to cut back employees, starting with the police department. The Albany station reports that the Lee County Sheriff’s Office will be patrolling the town.

The mayor says the city originally planned on keeping the police chief but decided to do away with the entire department. The mayor says more cuts are expected.

Some residents said they are concerned about their safety.

“I got to wait, I’m going to have to wait for one to come if I need one. Which I hope I don’t. And that’s not fair to me and I pay taxes ,” resident Alice Johnson said.

One of the police officers, Sammy Stone, said he believes the sheriff’s department will do what it can.

“I feel the sheriff is going to give them what he got. As much as he can with what he have. I think he’s going to make sure things are going to be taken care of here in Smithville,” Stone said.

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