Coolidge police chief resigns, interim chief named


2020欧洲外围赛COOLIDGE — The former Coolidge police chief intended to resign in December, but decided not to after several Coolidge residents asked him to stay.

2020欧洲外围赛Last Saturday, however, James Wright, Coolidge chief for close to 18 years, did resign.

2020欧洲外围赛Wright, 72, said that when he made it known in December he planned to resign, an elderly Coolidge man asked him if he would take him to a pawn shop in Thomasville to purchase a firearm to protect himself from the crime that would take place in Wright's absence.

A female resident took his hand, wept and asked Wright not to leave.

Wright reconsidered and stayed.

2020欧洲外围赛"I cannot work under the new administration," Wright said Tuesday. "The new administration has done everything to get rid of me."

The Coolidge City Council micro-manages the police department, he said.

Coolidge Mayor Diane Causey, Coolidge mayor for 19 years, described Wright as dedicated to serving Coolidge residents and going beyond the call of duty, particularly for the elderly.

2020欧洲外围赛When Wright was off-duty, he continued to check on residents he thought needed help, Causey said, adding that Wright worked tirelessly during storms to ensure the town's safety.

2020欧洲外围赛The mayor said the council likes Wright and that he did not violate city rules or regulations.

A council member mentioned disbanding the police department and having the Thomas County Sheriff's Office patrol the city, Causey said. 

2020欧洲外围赛"It was a statement made at a council meeting," she said.

The police department had two officers — Wright and another officer, John Ferrell, who has been appointed acting chief.

The city will advertise for one full- and one part-time officers and a chief.

2020欧洲外围赛A Coolidge minister is not happy about Wright's departure.

"I think he is one of the greatest things that happened to Coolidge," said the Rev. Kelley Anderson, Coolidge Church of God pastor.

2020欧洲外围赛Wright is honest and dependable, said Anderson, who considers the former chief a confidant.

2020欧洲外围赛"In my opinion, we lost someone we can't replace in that position," Anderson said.

The pastor said he is "disgusted" with how Wright has been treated by city council.

It is his opinion Wright does not have the support of the full, six-member council.

2020欧洲外围赛Coolidge resident Rickie Mullins was a member of the city zoning committee until he resigned last Friday.

Mullins said he stepped down because he does not agree with some council members, resulting in him not being able to perform zoning committee duties as they should be done.

He said he resigned to allow new people to be appointed to the committee.

When Mullins, who is retired, moved to Coolidge from Kentucky in 1993, the city's law enforcement was not stable, he said. He felt safer after Wright became chief.

"He is one of the nicest guys I've ever met or been associated with," Mullins said.

2020欧洲外围赛Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820