The possible removal of Gerald Police Chief Steve Goodwin hinges on a public hearing Friday night, Sept. 15, at 6 p.m., at Gerald City Hall.
Goodwin was suspended suddenly Aug. 31.
Mayor Cary Parker said he can’t share the circumstances of the suspension, the grounds for Goodwin’s termination will be presented during the hearing.
“At that time, he will have the opportunity to present witnesses, have legal counsel and answer to the allegations,” Parker said.
After the hearing, the board of aldermen will vote on whether to formally remove the chief from office, which would require a three-fourths affirmative vote for termination.
Since the suspension, Gerald has had two patrolmen, who are reserve officers, and has requested 30 days of support from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.
“There’s not necessarily a 24-hour patrol car in Gerald, Missouri,” Parker said. The same is true with many communities in Mo., but there is always 24-hour coverage and response.”
Sheriff Steve Pelton said his department will assist with law enforcement for 30 days until the police force is better staffed.
“They are Franklin County citizens so obviously we support them,” he said. “We will help them in the interim during the manpower issues.”
Parker stressed that whether in Gerald or in any community, if there’s an emergency to call 911, and “they will be immediately responded to,” he said.
A facebook page “Saving Gerald Police Department” speculates that the police department may be disbanding.
Organizers’ goals are to “take actions to have Chief Goodwin reinstated as acting chief and protect our police force.”
Gerald City Hall is located at 106 E. Fitzgerald.