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It was just last September that the city of Somerville considered getting rid of its police force. After this week's resignations of two officers, the city is almost there.
Officers Kindale Pittman and Sheila Sager resigned Monday leaving Chief Nelton Spittler as Somerville's only fulltime officer. Pittman and Sager had been on administrative leave since May 25. Neither wanted to discuss specifics other than saying it stemmed from a disagreement over police procedures. Both say they left on good terms.
Last September, Somerville residents packed city hall to object to a plan to do away with the police department and contract law enforcement with Burleson County. Some city officials made the suggestion as a money-saving move.
But oddly enough, the subject has never been brought up again.
"I haven't heard anything about it since the city council meeting back in September of last year, nothing else has came up about it, nothing's been said." says Chief Spittler.
But even if Somerville doesn't intend to get rid of its police force...it's one cop away from doing just that. Reserve officers have been filling in for the time being, but the sole officer says this recent loss hasn't put a strain on the department and he's not worried about losing it all together.
"I have six reserves that come in and fill in open shifts - so everything's still running as it has been." says Chief Spittler.
City Administrator, Barbara Pederson says there has been no additional talk of getting rid of the police department completely. The city is now looking at a long term plan of hiring more officers to ensure the safety of their citizens. But for now, Somerville will have to make do with one officer and a part-time posse.