Vian Mayor Dennis Fletcher said Monday that five applications for the town's open police chief post have already been received, and advertisements for the job are just beginning to go out.
Fletcher said the Vian Board of Trustees voted in a special meeting Friday to let Police Chief Alan Ellis go "for the good of the service." Fletcher said of Ellis, "Our expectations weren't being met."
Fletcher hopes the post will be filled quickly, since the five Vian police officers cannot work, by state law, without a supervisor. Fletcher said they are at home for the moment, but Vian officials are determining if they can be paid legally. "It wasn't their fault they had to be laid off," Fletcher said.
Fletcher said several of those applying for the job appear to be "really qualified." He said a former chief from Fayetteville had applied along with persons from Fort Smith and Muskogee. The Vian Board of Trustees will be reviewing applications and hiring a new police chief. "We are working diligently" to fill the position, Fletcher said.
He added, "We are grateful to the sheriff and his deputies. They've done a fine job. We are not losing any police protection."
Sheriff Ron Lockhart agreed to take calls from Vian after the police Chief's dismissal Friday.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director