Checotah Residents Frustrated With Proposed City Ordinance To Make Police Chief An Appointed Decision

Hundreds of people in Checotah showed up to a city council meeting Monday night, ready to speak out against a proposal to change the police chief’s job from voted on by citizens to being appointed by the mayor.

Monday, February 12th 2024, 9:12 pm



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Hundreds of people in Checotah showed up to a city council meeting Monday night, ready to speak out against a proposal to change the police chief’s job from voted on by citizens to being appointed by the mayor.

Just as soon as the meeting started, the mayor took the item off the agenda, saying it could be brought back in the future.

It was a packed house Monday at the Checotah City Council meeting, with many people worried that if this ordinance passes, it would take away their right to vote.

Even though the item was removed from the agenda, the city council still allowed people to talk about it.

Many said they didn’t want to lose their power when it comes to voting for a police chief.

“We had the right to vote him in," said Larry Pouncil. "I think if he’s not doing his job, then we the people have a right to vote him out. Not just a few. The people who voted for him have a right to vote him out.”

Several people said they support the current Police Chief, Darren Glover, who has been on the force for nearly 30 years.

They say he’s done a great job keeping the city safe.

Tom Kimbrough says Glover is the best chief he's seen in the 30 years he has lived here.

“It’s just his way that he can communicate with people and he always comes back with a response, one way or the other and let’s you know what’s going on," said Kimbrough.

Glover says he was sad to see the city council put this on the agenda in the first place, but is grateful for all the support from the people of Checotah.

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever seen," said Glover. " I devoted my whole life here. Just because I’m not their puppet, and I don’t have any strings, they want to find somebody else. But I don’t have any strings, I’m not their puppet.”

Daniel Tarkington, the Mayor of Checotah, says he was glad to see so many people wanted to come and let their voices be heard and hopes that will continue.

“While we removed that agenda item, it was to give the council plenty of time to consider how everybody felt," said Tarkington. "If they feel if it needs to be placed back on the agenda, we’ll place it back on a future date.”

No one at the meeting spoke in favor of the proposed ordinance that would make the Police Chief appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.

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