Colbert hires new officers

By: KXII Staff Email
By: KXII Staff Email

COLBERT, Okla. -- The Colbert Police Department walked off the job on Friday. As of Monday morning, city officials have already replaced two-thirds of the force.

Beginning Monday afternoon, new officer David Bray will patrol the streets, and city officials say another officer will start later this week.

The only vacancy that remains open is that of the chief of police.

On Friday, Chief Kurtis Smith and two department officers walked out in protest after the city council fired the police department secretary.

The city council will meet to talk about their options at the next council meeting on October 9th. The meeting is open to the public.

From over the weekend...
COLBERT, Okla. -- Three Colbert police officers, including the Bryan County town's police chief, have quit their jobs in apparent protest of the termination of a department secretary.

Town administrator Sharon Smith says the Colbert Police Department was $25,000 over budget, which resulted in secretary Libby Vivone's termination.

Smith says when she informed the officers on Friday that Vivone had lost her job, Chief Kurtis Smith and two other officers walked off the job.

Smith says Colbert has two other officers still employed with the department and a third is set to start Monday.

She says the county sheriff's office will help with law enforcement in the town if necessary.

Smith has been the town's administrator since September 10, after previously serving as its clerk and treasurer.

From Friday..............
COLBERT, Okla. -- The city of Colbert is without a police department Friday night. City leaders say four officers walked off the job around three o’clock Friday afternoon.

Officials say officers are upset because of the dismissal of police department secretary, Libby Lavone, who was fired Thursday.

Friday was her last day at work. The officers said they were not consulted on her firing.

So on Friday, they left.

"We are willing to negotiate as fas as trying to find a resolution because we do not want to lose our jobs nor do we want to leave this town insecure in any manner. But at this point in time the city council has made it quite clear that thier decision stands and there will be no negotiations that's it," said Officer McGillvary, the Colbert Police spokesman declined to give his first name.

"I was in shock when I found out, but after analyzing everything, my stand point is if they felt that way about the town then I believe we are better off without them," said MIchelle Weger, with the City of Colbert.

Officials say the Bryan County Sheriff's Office plans to patrol the streets and Oklahoma Highway Patrol will cover the roads until the city reaches a resolution with the department.

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  • by ????? Location: COLBERT on Nov 23, 2007 at 03:15 AM
  • by officer Location: Denison on Oct 18, 2007 at 10:51 AM
    Bryon Gordon is the chief?? That seem kind of funny to me. I have known Gordon most of his life. From the way he was raised and went through as a young adult, I was surprised when he came to law enforcement 5 years ago. I/We here in Denison know you have and will do an outstanding job there in Colbert. If you recall, I tried to get you to come here. For the public, if all you know about Gordon is what you see in print and bad press, you are missing the picture. Crack took his dad's life and that was what fueled him to be one of us. People, that's a fire that does not go out. I read a post below that said they keep thinking he shouldn't even be a policeman. Yes he should. Maybe you should look at your gleaming past and see what you might be suitable for. In closing, Bryon we support you, if you need anything from Denison PD, you let us know!
  • by anon Location: Colbert on Oct 15, 2007 at 06:09 PM
    As far as David Bray is concerned, he's no longer there. They shut him out like they did previous officers. The chief hires them and they choose "Not to comfirm" the hiring. They have appointed Bryon Gordon the Police Chief. Chief Gordon, may God be with you and stay safe out there. Don't trust the council, they have other issues at hand.
  • by Officer Location: Colbert on Oct 15, 2007 at 10:11 AM
    Well it seems as though this is a Black or White issue. Either you like it or not. If you have nothing to do than criticize my grammar and or spelling, then your Opinion for the issue at hand does not concern you. Only that you want to vent. "Officer are on highway 69/75 and write tickets all the time" Well then, QUIT BREAKING THE LAW AND SPEEDING!!!! Everyone either likes or dislikes each officer in his or her own right. This is a case of small town politics at it's best. See if Dallas city council, Or Durant, Let's go to CALERA! (The neghboring city) Council has nothing to do with officers and employees, only the Chief. And how can you expect competent decisions by the council when they can't decide if a meeting is legal or not? Or how about a council member pretending to be sick so there is not enough members for an actual meeting. Like me or not I don't care. Should they have left? That is a decision they had to make. And as far as budget, Why hire the new officers for $200.00 more
  • by Anonymous Location: Bryan County on Oct 11, 2007 at 03:24 PM
    Colbert Town Council is a joke. Small town politics in Colbert have been going on for years. The buddy system will prevail, it's all about who you know on the council. They could not make an informed decision if their life depended on it. All these people that have comments on this site should show up at every meeting and speak their mind. Someone needs to!!
  • by Resident Location: Bryan County on Oct 10, 2007 at 01:50 PM
    Why have an officer residency requirement? Make it so they can put the city in greater expense by not taking home thier patrol cars within a certain distance. Response time? If you have officers on 24 hours, thats not an issue. Also, the surrounding agencies (durant, calera, OHP, Sheriffs office) are there to help when needed. The size of Colbert does not allow for residency requirements. The town is chopping their head off by not opening up to more qualified people as police officers. If they are able to make thier shifts, and are well qualified employees,who cares where they live.
  • by ??'s Location: Colbert on Oct 9, 2007 at 03:27 PM
    I find it very interesting that the police department is over budget by 25,000 because isn’t that the same amount the EMS department was over budget by not that long ago? Will the water department be 25,000 in the hole in a few months? Where is the 25,000 that keeps being shuffled around from one department to the next? Was Mrs. Weger correct to assume it had been embezzled by an office worker? Whatever happened to that investigation anyways? Why is it that the budgets are still messed up? When the old clerk used to be asked about it, she always blamed it on a computer program error. The town pays a computer man (we all know from when he stood up and told the counsel he needed thousands of dollars for the towns computer system.) Why are they paying him if he cannot even fix the accounting program?
  • by ??'s Location: Colbert on Oct 9, 2007 at 03:27 PM
    As far as the police department goes why is it that when Chief Polston was there the city counsel wanted to fire 4 officers for living more than 7 miles from the station, (3 in Denison and 1 in Durant) they said they were worried about response time because it‘d affect the citizens welfare if they had to wait for an officer to get there from Denison Yet Chief Polston was eventually replaced by an officer that lives in Denison and now the Police Department is staffed with officers that live in Durant, Does this city counsel not care about the citizens welfare? If the city of Colbert is, so worried about money as they said they were a few months back when they said Chief Polston had too many officers on staff and wanted to cut them down to 3 or 4 officers why did the current Chief have six men working for him? How did the budget get 25,000 in the hole? Did the city counsel not notice this when they approved the monthly budget?
  • by ??'s Location: Colbert on Oct 9, 2007 at 03:26 PM
    I am not sure those sitting on the city counsel now have the town’s best interest in mind. Back to the town’s money problems, why is it the front office was staffed with up until now 4 people? When it use to be ran by 2. Why is it that the city counsel hired a town administrator? Did they not have enough people to pay? A city government has either a counsel or a town administrator not both. Who has the final say? The counsel or the administrator? I have some problems with our current administrator. As many of you have said, she does not even live in Colbert!! When she was city clerk, she was being paid to be at town hall from 8-5 yet when anyone tried to talk with her she could never be found. I find it interesting that for her to stay town clerk, the counsel would have had to elect her to stay since she moved out of town. But the majority of the counsel found it all right to hire her to manage the town.
  • by More ??'s Location: Colbert on Oct 9, 2007 at 03:26 PM
    Why is it that the counsel has managed to run off two whole police forces, the head of the water department, the fire chief, and two EMS directors? As far as EMS goes, why did the counsel allow the EMT with the DUI to stay an employee? (I guess a certain board member felt a bond with her, speaking of which why do we have a board member with a civil lawsuit against the town?) What is going to happen when that EMT comes back to work? Who is running the EMS department now? The latest news I have heard, apparently the town administrator thinks it’s more important for all the departments to get new uniforms (I have seen the department uniforms there is nothing wrong with them.) Maybe she should worry more about replacing the ambulance that is sitting in the back fence!! I personally would rather have the EMS department get to my house and save my husband or kids!!! I’m not worried about what they are wearing!
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