Highlandville, Mo. mayor says inactive police force could return

Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 1:06 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2023 at 4:41 PM CST
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HIGHLANDVILLE, Mo. (KY3) - The city of Highlandville halted its police department.

In early February, city leaders dissolved the police reserves, and officers resigned. Mayor Clint Ellingsworth said this is a bump in the road. Ellingsworth said one paid officer resigned, and another paid officer is on administrative leave. The mayor says this is because of a dispute about how a domestic disturbance was handled.

Mayor Ellingsworth and Christain County Sheriff Brad Cole said not much has changed. Christian County deputies will patrol and respond to emergencies in the city.

“They are protected in the same way that they always have been,” said Mayor Ellingsworth.

Sheriff Cole said 75% of the time, Highlandville citizens were already going to get a Christian County deputy if they called 911.

“It’s nothing to be alarmed about,” said Sheriff Cole. “You call 911, and we’ll respond.”

Mayor Clint Ellingsworth said the department could soon return.

“It’s not been totally eliminated,” said Mayor Ellingsworth. “It could come back. I don’t know at what date.”

Mayor Ellingsworth said budgetary reasons also became a factor.

He said it might change response times for nuisance calls but not much else.

“You’re not going to be looking at a long response from a deputy if you do have an emergency,” said Sheriff Cole.

As for the investigation on the Highlandville Police officer, Mayor Ellingsworth said they are still waiting on results. Sheriff Cole said its investigation is completed. The Christian County prosecutor is reviewing the case for any possible charges.

Mayor Ellingsworth said they are trying to do the best they can.

“We try to spread that revenue around the best that we can, and we’re we’re here for the citizens,” said Mayor Ellingsworth. “Do the best we can with what we have to deal with.”

Sheriff Cole said he is going to Highlandville’s next city council meeting on March 13 to discuss some sort of contract with the city and the sheriff’s office.

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