SC police chief, officers walk off after council asks them to ‘do things that are not legal’

Around the South

CLIO, S.C. (WBTW) — A police chief and multiple other officers in South Carolina walked off after the town council asked them to “do things that are not legal,” according to the mayor.

Clio, South Carolina Mayor Ben Petron said he has yet to hear from town council on the issues at hand and that he doesn’t want to have his name associated with it.

“Sorry to see the chief and the other officers leave because they have been doing a great job of turning the town around public safety-wise, but I understand why they left because they are being asked to do things that are not legal,” Petron said.

Petron said the town council is bending rules, such as changing ticket amounts for people who are friends of council members and that the police department isn’t going for it.

A letter from town council serving as their response states some rules and regulations, which include 24-hour police coverage, thumbprint time clock, and officers — including Clio Police Chief Will Horne — not taking their police cars home.

“Where is it fair that your councilmember approach you and say, ‘Hey, can you help me with this citation,’ and this is coming from a councilmember, so you know, as an officer, you say, ‘Oh man, if I say no, what are the repercussions that I’m going to have from this councilmember?'” said officer Demetris Rivers, one of the officers who walked off the job.

Rivers has been a Clio police officer for seven months. Officer Tajuana Jacobs has been with the department for four months. Both of them said the control and treatment from town council is why they decided to walk out.

“We come out here and we put our lives on the line and if that’s not enough to be helped, to be wanted, to care whether or not we walk out, then why stay?” Jacobs asked.

From the mayor, the chief, and officers of Clio, they all say they just want to see change and even if it doesn’t change for them now, they hope change will come for future recruits.

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