Missouri Police, City Officials React to Election of First Black Mayor by Quitting

Missouri Police, City Officials React to Election of First Black Mayor by Quitting

Some of the officials reportedly had "safety concerns."

Published April 20, 2015

The tiny town of Parma, Mo., recently elected Tyrus Byrd to serve as its first African-American mayor. In response, five of the city's six police officers resigned from their positions, effective immediately.

The city's attorney, clerk and water treatment plant supervisors also have resigned, citing "safety concerns," former Mayor Randall Ramsey told KFVS.

Byrd, a Christian missionary who once served as a city clerk, is a lifelong resident of Parma. She narrowly beat Randall, who in two different terms was mayor for 37 years, by 37 votes. At her April 14 swearing-in ceremony, Byrd said she was unaware of the resignations. After taking office, she was unable to find the resignation letters and found that the city computers had been cleared.

Of the six officers who stepped down, two worked full-time and the other three were part-time. Parma's residents seem to not regret their loss.

“I think it was pretty dirty the way they all quit without giving her a chance, but I don't think they hurt the town with quitting because who needs six police for 740 people?” Martha Miller told a local NBC affiliate.

Follow Joyce Jones on Twitter: @BETpolitichick.

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(Photo: KFVS)

Written by Joyce Jones

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