Disagreements with the mayor led the police chief and the officers in the town of North to quit, leaving the Orangeburg County town of 750 people with no police force.
Police Chief Mark Fallaw said he could not work with newly elected Mayor Patty Carson, who said she wanted the department to write at least three times as many tickets, required the chief to show her all of his emails and only authorized him to buy tires and gas with permission.
“I would describe her management style as dictator,” Fallaw told The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg.
Carson refused to speak to reporters, telling WLTX-TV she won’t discuss personnel issues in public.
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One officer left just before the election, and another regular officer and a reserve officer followed Fallaw out earlier this month
In North, the mayor also acts as the town administrator. Fallaw said he understands she was chosen by the people, but can’t violate police standards.
“Your intent to supervise all incoming and outgoing correspondence, to prohibit mutual-aid agreements and to have a department vision that solely focuses on citation quotas is alarming,” Fallaw wrote in his resignation letter.
Carson was elected to Town Council in 2010 and Fallaw said she asked for cellphone records from the police department, but no other town agencies. The chief told her it would cost $700 to black out phone numbers of confidential informants and victims, and she backed down.
Fallaw said he is worried about the town. North plans a Christmas parade that would cross train tracks on busy U.S. 321 without any officers to block and direct traffic.
The Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office is patrolling the town now, but they have a lot more ground to cover, Fallaw said.