CALHOUN (WATE) - The entire police force in Calhoun has been laid off indefinitely. Local citizens are outraged by the decision.
August 31 was the last time a police officer patrolled the streets of Calhoun. All patrol cars are now locked behind a chain-link fence near city hall.
Larry Moses, the former police chief, said his two officers were laid off first. City officials then said they would dismantle the entire department.
All records and evidence have now been transferred to the McMinn County Sheriff's Office.
Residents, however, are concerned the lack of a police force could lead to turmoil.
"Even though we are a small town and a small community, we still have our speeders and crime, and things that go on," said Calhoun resident Terri Damoth. "Without proper response from a police department and waiting for McMinn County to get here, it's a big concern."
For now, city officials have asked the sheriff's department to help patrol the city.
"I've assured them they are taken care of," McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy said. "They are in the county. We are going to respond to calls down there."
The sheriff said people in Calhoun should not worry about long response times, but many people believe it is still a concern.
"With their presence people are less likely to do something," said Calhoun resident Jennifer Reeves. "Without their presence people are bolder."
The sheriff said he hopes they can work out their budget issues. "I think any city needs to have a police department, but sometimes it's a tough financial time for everyone."
Some, like Damoth who herself was a former city commissioner, feel the city is not being run properly.
"Prior to the sitting commission, the city was doing very well," Damoth said. "We didn't have a lot of money left. We did have all of our bills paid to be able to take care of this city, and our employees."
Many people just hope these patrol cars will be back on the streets soon.
Calhoun's city manager and mayor were unavailable for comment.
Calhoun is not the only city the sheriff's office is helping. They also assist the city of Niota after two of their officers were arrested.