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Nicholls entire police force resigns in the same week

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Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 6:18 PM EDT
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NICHOLLS, Ga. (WALB) - Coffee County Sheriff’s Office must now cover the city of Nicholls after the entire city police force quit. More staff will have to put on the badge and uniform on their days off, but Coffee County Chief Deputy Fred Cole says they’re prepared to provide coverage to Nicholls.

He says the call came in Wednesday morning from Nicholls Police Chief Billy Ray Fields telling him that he’s resigning.

He shared what changes will be enforced to ensure the safety of all of their designated coverage areas.

“Right now, we are in the process of getting off-duty officers signed up to work over in Nicholls which will provide them with 24-hour, seven-day-a-week service until they can get a new staff hired,” Chief Cole said.

All the letters of resignation from Nicholls Police Chief Billy Ray Fields and his staff were submitted this week. In the letter, the chief says a lack of manpower and a strict budget led to this decision.

Video from WALB

We reached out to Mayor Tamon Frost for a response but haven’t been able to speak to him about it.

Yvette Statten, a Nicholls native says even with the community not having a fully-staffed police department, she still feels safe.

“It’s a family-oriented town. It’s not gone be a problem. I don’t feel like it’ll be any kind of big crime going on because like I say everybody knows everybody to the point where if something happens. I guarantee somebody around there is going to know who that person is,” she added.

Other resignation letters from staff said they were leaving for personal reasons or heading to different agencies. Chief Deputy Cole says this same thing happened six months ago in Nicholls, so he’s prepared.

WALB’s Alicia Lewis reached out to Chief Fields for a statement via Facebook Messenger and he says everything that needed to be said was said face-to-face between him and Nicholls’ Mayor Frost.

I’ve also reached out to several Nicholls council members for a statement on this matter and haven’t received a response back.

I was told this will be the topic of discussion at the next meeting on Monday at 6 p.m.

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