Shamrock City Council votes to close police department, dispatch system

Shamrock City Council votes to close police department, dispatch system
After debating it for nearly four months, the Shamrock City Council has voted to do away with the Shamrock Police Department and dispatch system. (source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - After debating it for nearly four months, the Shamrock City Council has voted to do away with the Shamrock Police Department and dispatch system.

Shamrock City Council votes to close PD and dispatch (source: KFDA)

Since June, the citizens of Shamrock of have packed council meetings, but Shamrock's City Hall is now empty.

In a three to two vote, the city council decided to dissolve the police department and dispatch system, leaving three police officers and six dispatchers unemployed.

"I'm hurt, very hurt," said Shamrock Dispatcher Helen Taylor.

Taylor has been a dispatcher since 2009. While she doesn't know what's next for her, she only has one word for the way she feels:

"Betrayed," said Taylor. "I feel like our city council who was voted to help the community has let the community down."

Shamrock City Manager Tommye Cole said the decision was difficult, but it's what had to be done to maintain the city's infrastructure.

"We've got vital areas to our city with our water and our sewer sanitation departments that we have to maintain," said Cole. "We have to cut services to be able to do that."

However Cole said it wasn't feasible.

"A lot of the ideas that we had been presented, we researched them and some of them weren't going to be a help, some were past the deadline," he said. "All together, there just wasn't enough to scrape together financially to go forward with these departments. And getting to the close of the fiscal year, we're running out of time."

Cole said he hopes the city can now start moving forward, and some citizens agree.

"Now it's time for everyone to start working together, and let the town start healing and hopefully the council will start working as a business unit," said Shamrock Resident Mary Kay Tallant.

However others are still frustrated.

"I don't understand why the council can't let us have a town hall meeting, discuss this, put our views in and then decide what to do," said Shamrock Resident Lynette O'Gorman.

Taylor said she's leaving it to the man upstairs.

"I just pray for the best of them and hope they're taken care of," said Taylor.

Cole said the city is still negotiating a contract with Wheeler County to cover dispatch and patrol for Shamrock.

The Shamrock dispatch system will continue operating until the end of the month.

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