Timmonsville PD shuttered, administrator and treasurer fired
Sat, 12 May 2012 01:33:23 GMT —
Timmonsville Town Council voted 4-3 to terminate the contracts of administrator Mark Fountain and treasurer Dora Lee, Friday night.
Councilman Jim Pigate asked Mayor Darrick Jackson why he called a motion to fire the two and Jackson replied, "we have discussed this matter in a prior executive session and I'm not entertaining any further discussion."
The 10 minute meeting then adjourned.
Council did not vote to close the police department because Mayor Darrick Jackson says that was done before Friday night's meeting.
After the meeting, Fountain thanked the people of Timmonsville for welcoming and allowing him to serve the town.
"It's been truly a pleasure on behalf of myself as well as Dora Lee to serve you all. We gave you all that we could give you and we were truly for you all and I think as time goes on you will see that," said Mark Fountain.
About 30 residents stayed following the meeting demanding for council to address the status of the Timmonsville Police Department.
Timmonsville Mayor Darrick Jackson sent a letter to Police Chief Michael Martin Thursday, informing him that effective 8 p.m. Friday, May 11, the town's police department would cease to exist.
As residents yelled at Mayor Jackson to explain why they fired the officers, Jackson said that it had to do with the town's finances and they needed to save $400,000. The statement seemed to disturb the crowd even more.
"I'm saying that we need to take our town back because we need protection. They didn't give us a chance to decide what needs to happen, so we are going to as the citizens, we are going to take our town back. We gonna have to work together and find a way to take the town back," said resident Patricia Burno.
Jackson also sent a letter to Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone saying the town could no longer maintain its police department. He asked that the sheriff's office begin patrolling the town starting at 8 p.m. Friday when "the Chief of Police and all other officers will be relieved of duty."
Sheriff Boone had 30 deputies from his department in Timmonsville Friday night. The officers were stationed in different areas of the small town.
Boone says he's committed to doing what he can to protect the people of Timmonsville.