Some residents protest cuts to Earle, AR police force - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Some residents protest cuts to Earle, AR police force

(WMC-TV) - A proposal to reduce Earle, Arkansas' budget is expected to cost top police officers in that city their jobs.

Now, some residents in Earle are protesting and worried about whether they will be adequately protected.

Earle's city council voted to eliminate Police Chief Walter Voyles' position, as well as the position of his assistant police chief.

"Last Wednesday, I received a call from my sister who was reading the paper and she asked me why I didn't tell her I was going to be out of a job at the beginning of the year," said Voyles.

Voyles said his job elimination caught him by surprise.

The city council voted to eliminate the positions as a way of responding to a $150,000 budget shortfall brought on by a shrinking population and less federal funds.

"They elected us to do a job, trust us, and that's what I'm asking them to do for us," said Earle Mayor Otis Davis.

City officials said plans are to replace the chief and his assistant with a captain to manage day-to-day operations.

At a rally in front of city hall Thursday, some residents protested against the cuts.  Protesters said the best way to save money would be to cut the number of people on the city council.

Earle has eight city council members.  While some would like to see that number reduced, Davis said the bottom line is the police department is one of the city's biggest expenses and will end up with some of the biggest cuts.

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