A number of police officers and city officials in one small Missouri town have resigned after a Black woman was elected mayor.
The people of Parma, Missouri made a progressive step in their town’s history when they elected Tyrus Byrd as their new mayor. KFVS reports that she is the first Black women ever to hold the position and it was a huge moment for the town.
While many of the residents were at the courthouse to cheer her on and congratulate her as she was being sworn in, not everyone was so supportive of her election. According to the outgoing mayor, five cops have quit due to some alleged “safety concerns.” Since there were only six officers in the Parma Police Department to begin with, that might be a legitimate concern, since there is now only one cop to keep the town safe.
The city’s attorney, clerk, and water treatment supervisor have all resigned as well. Parma Resident Martha Miller believes the exodus is unfair and more than a little suspect.
“I think it’s pretty dirty they all quit without giving her a chance,” she told KFVS. “But I don’t think they hurt the town any by quitting, because who needs six police for 740 people.”
While this would be a huge concern for anyone else, Byrd doesn’t seem to have let this faze her. She has vowed to address the cluster of departures when she has more information on the matter and more time to process it, but for now she is looking to get things in order for Parma.
Business as usual. Newly elected mayor will wait to address the loss of police personnel in the city of Parma pic.twitter.com/OU9OmKWQzX
— Allison Twaits KFVS (@atwaitskfvs) April 14, 2015
In the meantime, a local sherriff’s department will be dispatching some officers to watch over the town until the police force has been replenished.
On the bright side, there are plenty of openings for more open-minded officers and officials looking to serve the town of Parma.