Almost All Electra PD Resigns Amid Turmoil - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Almost All Electra PD Resigns Amid Turmoil

A former Electra Police dispatcher, who resigned with two others on Wednesday, said she could no longer handle the stress of the "hostile" work environment.

Myra Byrd, who was with the department for about five years, said she was enjoying her time with Electra PD. That is, until she said City Commissioners launched an attack against Police Chief Johnny Morris and the department a few months ago.

"Oh it has everything to do with the new City Council," said Byrd. "When the vote took place in May, that's when everything just collapsed and the whole city has imploded."

Byrd told Newschannel 6 she cried every day at work, because of the stress. With the three dispatchers now gone, that leaves just the Chief and two officers, but one of those officers is also leaving in about a week.

Chief Morris is currently out on sick leave after having back surgery, and he is expected to be out for about six weeks. In the meantime, police employees must answer to City Administrator Larry Pannell.

"The City Administrator really wants complete control over everything that's going on in that building," said Byrd. "With (Chief Morris) being out on medical leave, it was getting worse."

Byrd said she and the two other dispatchers finally decided to quit their jobs when Wichita County Sheriffs deputies stepped in to assist the under-staffed Electra PD.

"We did not leave the citizens without a backup plan," said Byrd. "We made sure there was something in place for them when we walked out."

Byrd said the police department sent city leaders four written complaints that were never answered. She also said she and other police employees were being followed around town by Commissioners.

Pannell said he sent Commissioners an email telling them they could keep an eye on police activity, but to just stay a block away. He has agreed to send Newschannel 6 the email, as long as the City Attorney approves the action.

We are also working to get access to all of the City Commissioner's emails about the situation, the complaints from the police department, and the list of 28 deficiencies the City Council sent Chief Morris.

We also reached out to each of the four City Commissioners for their side of the story. Phone calls to Janice Cranford and Dr. Tom Delizio were not returned by 8p.m. Thursday night. No one answered the door at Margie Bentley Scott's house in the afternoon.

Pam Ward was the only Commissioner available to talk. She told us she is the only member of the City Council who is not against Chief Morris. She believes some Commissioners have a personal vendetta against the Chief and thinks some of the deficiencies they said he has are "laughable."


Christina Myers
cmyers@kauz.com

 

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