The Varnell Police Department was reinstated by the mayor after the City Council voted to abolish it. (Credit: Dalton Daily Citizen)

Voters in N. Georgia city to decide police department’s fate

After their elected leaders came down on both sides of the issue, voters in a North Georgia city will decide for themselves whether they want to abolish the police department, according to a report.

The Varnell City Council is expected next week to authorize a nonbinding resolution on the November ballot on whether to turn things over to the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

The council said it would abide by the November vote.

Council members voted 3-1 on July 11 to do away with the police department, according to multiple reports. However, Mayor Anthony Hulsey, who only votes in a tie, vetoed the legislation two days later.

RELATED: Ga. council members report threats after votes to abolish police

Residents who spoke at a called meeting Thursday criticized the council members who voted to do away with the police.

"How dare you sacrifice our safety," Sandy Pangle said.

Council member Jan Pourquoi said about $300,000 a year is budgeted for public safety, and he said the city could get a full-time deputy to patrol the city for $50,000 a year.

He also said there would be less money from fines generated by police, which runs about $200,000 a year. 

"Small towns use tickets to fill their coffers," Pourquoi said.

Read more of the story here.

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