Belle votes to cut police force, subcontract with county deputies

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BELLE — A small central Missouri town no longer has a police department.

The Belle Board of Alderman voted Tuesday night to subcontract with the Maries County Sheriff's Department. 

Ten people spoke at the meeting in favor of keeping the Belle Police Department, and one spoke in favor of subcontracting with Maries County. 

It came down to mayor Josh Seavers to make the final decision. He said he had spent a lot of time thinking about what to do.  

Sundi Jo Graham, a long-time Belle resident, said she was disappointed. 

"I don't feel good about it," she said. "I don't like it. I hope we can come together to figure out a different plan eventually because I don't want to see it stay this way for sure." 

Belle police marshal Joe Turnbough still has two years left in his elected term. 

There is no definite timeline, but Turnbough said the process would move quickly.