Mayor Fires Police Chief After Councilman Arrested So All Officers Quit
Lumpkin, GA – The mayor of Lumpkin fired the police chief on Monday, just a week after sheriff’s deputies arrested a city councilman, during a city council meeting, for impersonating a police officer (video below).
Authorities said that Lumpkin City Councilman Darryl Wilson allegedly claimed to be a Dawson police officer during a recent traffic stop in Chattahoochee County, WRBL reported.
A Chattahoochee sheriff’s deputy said that when he stopped Wilson for a traffic violation, the councilman claimed to be a member of the Dawson Police Department and produced a badge to prove it.
Investigators determined that Wilson had not been a Dawson police officer since 2009, WTVM reported.
A felony arrest warrant was issued for Wilson, but initially, deputies had no luck locating him.
Then someone tipped them off that Wilson would be at the city council meeting on Feb. 25, WTVM reported.
Video of the arrest at the meeting showed that Wilson complied with deputies’ orders while he was taken into custody.
The other members of the Lumpkin city council looked on in disbelief as two deputies led a handcuffed Wilson out of the meeting room, the video showed.
Wilson was transported to the Muscogee County Jail for processing on the felony arrest warrant, WTVM reported.
He was charged with impersonating a peace officer.
Exactly one week later, at 7 p.m. on March 4, Lumpkin Mayor Jimmy Babb suddenly fired Lumpkin Police Chief John Tyler, WRBL reported.
The tiny town of Lumpkin only has four full-time police officers.
All of them resigned from the force in response to Chief Tyler’s firing, WRBL reported.
The police chief said he was given no reason for his termination.
He told WRBL that the mayor just walked into his office and told him to turn in his “belongings and leave your keys.”
After a brief panic by residents in the Lumpkin community, the Stewart County Sheriff’s Office stepped up to temporarily fill the gap left by the loss of entire police department in one day.
Stewart County Sheriff Larry Jones told WRBL that he would send on-duty deputies to patrol for the dayshift, and use off-duty deputies to cover the night shift.
The sheriff said he would be rotating the deputies around.