Stover Officer Resigns after Heated Council Meeting
STOVER - A Stover police officer handed in his resignation letter Thursday night after he said the ethical repercussions of working for a police chief awaiting DWI charges involving an accident with injuries "has become too much."
Officer John Snyder said he will leave the Stover Police Department Aug. 1. Snyder announced his resignation after a heated city council meeting between residents and council members about the election of Stover Police Chief Trampus Jackson. The city council appointed Jackson to police chief last month. Jackson was fired nearly six months before that for DWI charges. He is also accused of hitting a pregnant woman's car. The woman and her unborn child survived the accident.
Snyder also said he is leaving because he doesn't agree with the city council shutting out public comment during its meetings.
"To me, that's something that's covered under our First Amendment rights, freedom of speech," Snyder said. "A city council meeting to me is a form in which the public can come and address the city council with concerns, issues and opinions. They need to think about the citizens of Stover and listen to them, as opposed to worry about 'well that's going to be an uncomfortable question.' They need to answer the uncomfortable questions."
In his resignation letter, Snyder wrote "I will not be associated with a political entity that violates the First Amendment rights of the people they were elected to represent. The City Council of Stover has gone to great lengths to silence and avoid the publics' opinions and concerns about the newly appointed police chief. I am unable to condone or be a part of those actions."
Snyder called the appointment ofJackson "an insult and embarrassing" to the department, but said he does not have any problem with Jackson personally.
Repeated calls to the Stover Police Department by KOMU 8 went unanswered. KOMU 8 also made several calls to Mayor Scott Beckmann who refused to comment, saying he was too busy with customers at his work.