Marlin Police Chief resigns, keeps his position
A squabble between City of Marlin officials and the Marlin Police Department created a lot of confusion for Marlin residents this week, resulting in the question of whether Marlin would be left without a Police Chief, yet again.
During the regular City Council meeting on May 12, it was questioned where required monthly reports were from the Marlin Police Department.
"There's no report. I need to see your monthly report. Did you do a monthly report?" Marlin Mayor Carolyn Lofton asked during the virtual meeting.
McCall had the reports in hand, but they had not been distributed with the Agenda packets.
After the tension during the meeting, questions rose surrounding the status of the Chief, as KXXV aired a story about the meeting’s discourse.
“Privately, he's considering a move if he can't get his programs going, something that comes as a shock to city leaders,” the article stated, confusing the community and city officials alike.
He did indeed submit a resignation letter on May 15, two days after the story aired.
Another City Council meeting was announced after the notice of resignation was received, set for Monday, May 18, at 5:30 p.m. The only item on the agenda was an executive session to “discuss the appointment, duties, assignments, evaluation, and/or discipline of the Chief of Police.”
Community members took to Facebook to voice their concerns after the KXXV story came out and apprehension only rose with the addition of an impending meeting. A support gathering was suggested by community advocates, momentum behind the idea gathering immediately.
“This is meant to show Chief McCall support from the people he so diligently protects and serves, as well as a silent way to to make a loud statement to our City Council men and women about just exactly where the hearts and minds of our citizens are,” wrote Rachel Wilson, who is a long-time Marlin resident and happens to be one of Marlin’s Animal Control Officers.
“Chief continues to pour encouragement and inspiration into our community,” she continued. “It’s our turn to do the same for him.”
During the twelve o’clock hour on Monday, another agenda was released, announcing a second “emergency meeting” at 7 p.m. The additional meeting was called to “deliberate and/or take action on the protection of the trust and/or public interest for the vacant office of Chief of Police.”
The agenda cited that the position will be vacant “due to the resignation of Chief of Police.”
According to McCall, he rescinded his resignation days before the second meeting was announced, mainly due to significant levels of support shown to him online.
“After speaking with my family, and observing all the support and encouragement from the community, I am compelled to continue my duties as Chief of Police for Marlin, Texas,” his second letter, dated May 16, read.
“This man has done so much for this community,” said Pattie Kalmbach during the protest. “He’s made himself visible.”
The four hour long executive session suggested that there was disagreement between attendees on how to move forward. When the executive session concluded, the council unanimously voted to table the agenda item.
Questions still surround the details of what all went on behind closed doors, but Terrence McDavid, councilman for Precinct 3, shed a little light on the subject after adjournment.
“It was a lot of listening to each other,” the second term councilman told reporters. “We took the time to really pay attention to and understand what was going on; there was some miscommunications.”
“We finally come to the decision that we were gon’ table this to put some things in place to make sure that this situation doesn't happen with anyone else,” he continued.
McDavid believes that with everyone working together, both “sides” will be able to work out their positions and each set of related expectations. He seemed in high hopes that with the council giving all parties involved more time to show their promised results, the positive changes that have started with the current administration will continue.
“Once that’s been said and done, the only thing left is for everybody to sit back, watch the change, and let it happen,” the Marlinite said. City of Marlin officials declined to comment.
Though turnout was not as plentiful as expected by protest creators, McCall voiced his appreciation for those who did.
“I’m here for this community,” McCall said. “A lot of people came out for me tonight.”
The subject of McCall’s status as Chief of Police will be revisited during the next meeting, per the council’s motion to table. The next regular city council is scheduled for June 9, but a special meeting may be in order before then.
To be alerted of the next meeting, head to marlintx.net and click “Notify Me Sign Up” in the left hand column.
More photos from the support event:
A prayer, led by Pattie Kalmbach, was spoken over Monday’s City Council meeting, solidifying the support found for MPD Chief, Lawrence McCall.
Chief Lawrence McCall was in high spirits before Monday’s city council meeting, coming out to meet, greet, and individually thank his supporters. Pictured are Sonia and Joe Ponce with McCall.