Ga. council members report threats after votes to abolish police

Two City Council members in North Georgia say they have been threatened after they voted to abolish the Varnell police department, according to a media report.

“It's a mob mentality, and it's scary,” council member Andrea Gordy told the Dalton Daily Citizen.

Gordy said she received a threat over Facebook, and the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office agreed to extra patrols near the home of council member Jan Pourquoi after his wife reported a threat, according to the newspaper.

Pourquoi, Gordy and another member of the four-person council voted Tuesday to do away with the police department. However, Mayor Anthony Hulsey, who only votes in a tie, vetoed the legislation Thursday.

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Council members could vote to override the mayor’s veto at the next meeting, according to the newspaper.

“I got one message on Facebook that said, ‘You've got a nice car. Can you afford new tires after we slash them?’ ” Gordy said. “I've been just trying to lay low and not go anywhere I don't have to.”

The mayor discussed the threats in a Facebook post.

“You, as citizens, have the right to voice your opinion and to get answers from the people you put in office,” Hulsey said. “I ask that you please treat these people with respect and voice your concerns and ask your questions in a civil manner.”

Pourquoi said the move to scrap the police department was an effort to save tax money.

“A lot of people in Varnell do not believe we need a police force in Varnell,” Pourquoi told the Daily Citizen. “We have a police force we already pay taxes for called the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office. There is no reason, other than creating employment, which is not the government’s business.”

Gordy said she contacted the sheriff's office Friday to ask if they can provide security when the council meets July 25, the newspaper reported. She doesn’t trust Varnell police to handle security.

“I know that when those hands go up, there will be a riot," Gordy said of a vote to override the mayor's veto.

Read more of the story here.

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