Mexico Beach residents speak out about police department cuts

News

MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Mexico beach officials recently decided to cut their police department, after a two to three vote at an emergency meeting on September 17th. This shocked some citizens, and now, they are speaking out.

For resident George Gill, the Mexico Beach Police Department holds special memories. 

“I spent about three and a half years working with the Mexico Beach Police Department as a sworn officer on a part-time basis,” Gill said. 

He is one of the multiple residents that are concerned about losing their police department to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. 

“We kind of feel like we’ve been dealt from the bottom of the deck,” Gill said. 

They say they would like more clarity, as decisions jumped between the September 10th regular meeting and the September 17 emergency meeting. 

“You have a meeting where everybody is standing up saying ‘we need to keep our police force’ and you have elected officials saying ‘we hear you, but we’re going to do what we want to do,’” said Mexico Beach resident Jim Tipton. 

They plan to take action. 

“We as citizens are starting a ‘grassroots’ action,” Gill said. 

They would like this decision to be slowed down. 

“Make this an election issue, we have an election in April 2020,” said resident Mitch Coleman. “Let this either be on a referendum on the election ballot or make this an election issue and whoever chooses to run for election can either support the issue or not support the issue.”

Either way, the group would just like to have more of a say. 

“Let us all decided because it affects every one of us,” Tipton said. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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