New chief elusive in Warwick law limbo - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New chief elusive in Warwick law limbo

WARWICK, GA (WALB) -

A sign outside a Warwick business criticized the mayor and council members for firing Police Chief David Morris.

The owner of Lake Blackshear Storage and Wash has since removed the message. It read “Shame on the Mayor and her two councilmen” The owner didn't want to talk to us about it.

The chief's firing still has people talking.

“He had too many police officers out there. Everywhere you look was polices.

Thursday, the Warwick city council upheld the mayor's decision to fire Chief Morris.

The city of Warwick is still without a police after David Morris was fired a week ago. Now Mayor Juanita Kinchen, is also acting as chief administrative officer for the city.

The mayor claimed Chief Morris did not follow city policy on firing and disciplining officers, spending city tax money, and placing quotas on officers to issue traffic tickets.

"As of most small towns, they can't afford city managers. It's a town of 434 people. It's a small place," said Warwick City Attorney Tommy Coleman.

Kinchen fired Morris on July 25th and appointed Tim Murphy as Interim Police Chief. Coleman says Murphy was let go Friday afternoon because of his controversial past as an officer in other counties.

"He had been hired by the Warwick Police Chief and I brought it up to the council and they dismissed it. But because it got so charged on both sides it resurfaced," said Coleman.

Coleman says Murphy's position was never meant for the long term. The mayor sent a letter on Friday, to Assistant Police Chief Yvette Miller notifying her that she is temporarily in charge of the Warwick Police Department under certain conditions until a final decision is made.

"Don't make any sudden moves. Don't hire or fire anybody or change anything," Coleman said she was told. Her job will be to stay in touch with the Mayor.

Coleman says the city needs to work towards stability.

"I advise them to get a new police chief and make a decision as quickly as possible. It's been a tumultuous experience for everybody," said Coleman.

He says the city has not yet started the search for a new police chief, but will start taking applications soon.

On Monday, the Assistant Police Chief said she plans to apply for the police chief position.

Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.

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