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STURGIS, Miss. (WCBI)- Four Sturgis Police cars sit vacant in the department’s lot. And it may be that way for some time. Last week, Sturgis’s board of Aldermen voted to remove Police Chief Will Hutuchinson from his position.

“During the executive session, all the re-appointments were made, except for the Chief of Police. He was not reappointed,” said Sturgis Mayor Walter Turner.

And his officers soon followed him.

“When we came out of executive session, at the close of the regular meeting, the remaining part-time police officers submitted their resignations. So we were left without any remaining police officers in the town of Sturgis,” said Mayor Turner.

The 3 officers turned in their badges, keys and equipment. The Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department is currently assisting the town until the board can find new officers and appoint a new chief. Several residents have already voiced their concerns with the major shake up.

“I’ve had a couple of phone calls already saying, how did you leave us without police protection? You’ve never been without protection. You call 911, which goes to the county dispatcher. The dispatcher sends the closest unit. If a Sturgis officer is on duty, he may be the closest unit. If not, it could be a sheriff’s deputy. If not, it could be highway patrol. So we were never without coverage,” said Mayor Turner.

Terral Cooper owns Popo’s BBQ and says he’s not worried about the town’s security.

“Sturgis is the kind of town, always self-sustained itself. At one time, it was only one Chief of Police here, which was Lewis Jones. He ran the whole town and I think we’ll be fine. It don’t take that much to run this town,” said Cooper.

Turner says he understands the town may feel nervous about the board’s recent decision, but knows they’ll work through it.

“We’ve covered as far as police protection. Now how we come out of this and what new system we put in place and order yet, we’re not sure of yet. We have to get the board to decide that,” said Mayor Turner.

The board will hold a special meeting next Thursday to decide what to do next.

We reached out to Hutchinson and his family. They family says they’re upset with the decision and that Hutchinson dedicated 11 years to protecting his town.

 

Comment on this Story

  • Gail Culpepper

    They just need to select the proper person for The Police Chief. One that has experience and they need to pay him well. Leadership and trust is the key to a small town. Sturgis is a good place to live.

  • christy Livingston

    I was born and raised there also my baby brother was one of those that turned his badge in. If anything happens to somebody there it can take 10 mins to an hour for someone to respond
    The town of sturgis has bad choice for mayor and alderman.

  • Fred Grammer

    This just shows how blind lady justices is in this area. People want the police when they are in need and when themselves are doing bad they don’t want the police. Chief Hutchinson has been in Sturgis all his life and wanted nothing more than a professional police department. Chief Hutchinson bent over backwards to help the people in the community. Chief always advised us to not set up check points during the liquor store hours so it would not cause problems for the stores business. The good people of Sturgis better wake up and take part in the town before it get run down into the ditch with the drunks.

  • The Truth

    Ms. Culpepper, I assume 11 years isn’t experience to you? If Chief Hutchinson was a “bad choice” please provide your evidence as to his job performance showing that “bad choice”. This is nothing more than small town politics. Everyone wants to use their “family name” or influence to break, or bend the law for themselves or threaten the Chief if he doesn’t enforce that same law to their neighbor. The law is the law that he and every police officer is sworn to uphold, regardless who the law breaker is. Search public records of your newly elected alderman and you will see what sparked this. One of your elected Aldermen was arrested by a Sturgis Police Officer for DUI and when the Chief refused to have his officer let him go after the Alderman threated him, the Alderman vowed to have the Chief removed from office. I am glad to see he is being removed for doing the “right” thing, rather than letting political pressure force him to let the alderman go and them killing someone while driving intoxicated. Good Job Chief!

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