An extremely long Kellyville Board of Trustees meeting came to a sour end on Tuesday night when the board voted to decline to promote interim Police Chief Byrom Davis to Police Chief, and thereby dropping the interim title.
In a 3-2 measure, the board of trustees returned from an executive session that lasted over an hour, and among the many other items, declined to promote Davis to Chief, but in the same meeting, they approved a raise for Davis to $18.00 an hour.
Mayor Terry Voss was among those who voted to promote Davis. “I told them I was going to vote with the people, and that’s what I did,” he said.
Someone told Sapulpa Times that the board had actually voted to table the matter after initially declining it. We’re waiting to get official minutes from the Town of Kellyville to confirm.
After the vote was cast, Officer Tyler Stroup, the only other full-time policeman on Kellyville’s force, said: “As an employee of the city, I’d like to make a statement.” He then stepped forward remarked on the lack of movement by the board in the city’s police force. He publicly declared, “If you do not get us some help, you can consider this my two weeks’ notice.”
Chief Davis and Deputy Stroup have been working 12-hour shifts, often seven days a week, since the board fired former Police Chief McWhirt in June. The remaining positions are left to be filled by reserve officers, most of whom have other jobs.
Chief Davis is a well-liked Chief who’s philosophy is to “change as many tires as I write tickets,” but as long as Davis is interim Police Chief, he is prevented from hiring anyone, even if a candidate was available.
Related items on the agenda included the hiring of a third officer—which was declined—and the approval of three new reserve officers—which was approved.
Sapulpa Times was anonymously informed after the meeting that of the three reserve officers that had just been approved, two of them had withdrawn their offer.
Davis didn’t say anything when the Chief vote was cast, but it didn’t stop folks in the audience from being vocal. “What’s the reason? You all sure didn’t do the will of the town,” one person said, before getting up to leave. Another told Sapulpa Times after the meeting was over, “If they keep this up, Kellyville will not have a police force in two weeks.”
In a bit of a head-scratching move, the board held a public comments session after returning from executive session. Several citizens got up to speak on Davis’ behalf and encourage the board to promote him, but since they had already returned from executive session, it’s unsure if their comments changed the way the board was going to vote.
The board declined to give a reason for the vote.