Big changes are coming to Electra as city commissioners vote to terminate the city's longtime police chief.
There was a wide range of emotions felt by the dozens of Electra residents who were for and against the termination of Johnny Morris.
However Electra's Mayor Curtis Warner says now that the decision has been made, it's time to rebuild its police department and start fresh.
In a four to one vote, Electra's commissioners voted to fire Morris after 11 years of service.
This hot button had been a big topic of discussion among city leaders and residents since June 2013.
Mayor Warner says the city's police department needs to rebuild.
"I feel it's what Electra needs at the time," Warner says. "We're not condemning anybody. We're not throwing anyone out to the dogs. We're just changing direction."
However, Commissioner Pam Ward did not want to see Morris lose his job.
Ward says, "It's just a sad day for Electra."
She was the only dissenting vote and says Morris had done a great job protecting the city.
"He's cleaned up the town as far as I'm concerned," Ward says. "He's doing a good job. We had probably one of the best police forces we have ever had in Electra and now we're going instead of progressing and going forward, we're going back."
It was standing room only at Tuesday's meeting, plus and overflow area at city hall, as dozens of residents came out to hear the commissioner's decision.
Many like Donna Palmer felt Morris should have kept his job.
"We feel safe with Johnny Morris," Palmer exclaims. "He's not just the chief of police. He's our friend. He is our family. He belongs here."
In addition, Palmer says, "The man has given everything he's had and they spit on him."
Johnny Morris says he is disappointed with the city commissioner's decision but is glad he was able to serve a community he cares so much about.
"I want to thank all the citizens of Electra that support not only myself as chief but the police department. We had a good thing. We arrested a lot of bad guys and a lot of bad guys went to the penitentiary," Morris says.
Mayor Warner says the city only has one police officer and they'll start the process of hiring a new police chief and officers immediately but until that happens, Wichita County Sheriff's deputies will continue to protect and serve the city and its citizens.
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