Small town, big problem: lack of officers

Published 05/13 2014 10:29PM

Updated 05/13 2014 10:41PM

In a story you'll see only on NBC 6, the small town of Stonewall has a big problem: it only has two police officers.

One of which was hired at a meeting Tuesday night.

During the meeting, Police Chief Tommy Dufrene told the council he needed at least three more officers.

Chief Dufrene says since officers have resigned and moved on to higher paying jobs, he’s now left with a hole.

Mayor Charles Waldon says this is the hardest part.

"Just trying to find qualified people, that's the problem," says Mayor Waldon.

Council members voiced concerns about future hires being qualified and having a clean background. 

Chief Dufrene says that's why all applicants go through background checks. 

While he didn't want to go on camera, Chief Dufrene wanted to make it clear to neighbors that sheriff’s deputies still help provide coverage.

As a business owner, Stephen Weindorff says that puts him at ease, but he still wants to know who's protecting his neighborhood streets.

"You know I do extensive background checks on the people I hire, because they deal with sensitive data, so I need to know if they're responsible and trustworthy," says Weindorff.

He's hoping that the department is properly staffed soon, so duties won't continue to fall on one person.

Chief Dufrene says he still has applications to go through, and he's hoping to get more qualified officers on the road soon.

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