UPDATE: New Bloomfield residents 'heartbroken' by police chief's resignation
NEW BLOOMFIELD: Multiple residents said they are afraid for the safety of their town after the New Bloomfield Police Chief, Greg Mooney, resigned Wednesday.
Mooney posted on Facebook he was resigning after being told he violated policy.
Talon Walther is a former Holts Summit police officer. He said he believes this will lead to more criminal activity in the area. He said the city already eliminated the sergeant position at the beginning of the year, and now he does now know what will happen.
“After that they got rid of the sergeant position then we had a whole bunch of crime that spiked and now they have gotten rid of the Chief position so I’m terrified what is going to come next,” Walther said.
Lolly Robbins is on the police board and said “The bank is sitting down there without protection; the school is sitting down there without protection and the [convenience store] is sitting out there without protection.”
The Callaway County Sheriffs Department has always patrolled the area in addition to the New Bloomfield part-time officers.
Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism said for decades, they have been the primary law enforcement agency just because of the number of hours the local officers worked.
“Nothing extravagant is going to change,” Chism said.
He said response times could take longer when there is not a local officer on duty.
“When they had an officer, the response time would have been very quick. With us covering 842 square miles it will certainly take a deputy longer,” Chism said.
“With all the school shootings and stuff, if something like that happens instead of minutes, it could be up 20 or 30 minutes before a response time and that is very scary,” Walther said.
Both Walther and Robbins brought up how the city’s lack of transparency with the budget could play a major role in the lack of policing.
Walther said “the city told residents it was because of the budget but whenever people started asking about the budget they never gave us a clear answer on why they had to get rid of them.”
“We had a police board meeting in January and left there with the understanding that Chief Mooney would get 60 hours a month and our sergeant would get between 20 and 30 hours a month. The following Thursday there was a city council meeting and that was all gone,” Robbins said.
She said the police board asked in January if they had allocated any money for the police officers for 2018, and they said they could not divulge that information.
“We just want answers. That’s all we want some answers ,” Robbins said.
She said everyone in the community loved Chief Mooney.
“He is just the best community police officer you can have. He goes out of the way for the kids. People can’t even let their kids walk down to the city park anymore,” she said. “We are all just really heartbroken that this has happened.”