When one small-town police chief determined the new mayor’s repressive regime kept his officers from performing their duties, he said he was left with no alternative to resigning. Shortly thereafter, the remaining officers in the small North, S.C., agency followed their leader, leaving the town with no local police.
Among the allegations Chief Mark Fallaw levied against newly elected Mayor Patty Carson were demands that officers show a threefold increase in issuing citations, submit emails for her direct review, and check with her when they make purchases — including fuel.
“For her to be directing procedures that were contrary to national standards, that was going to cause a problem,” Fallaw said. “So I just said it was best for me probably to step down.”
Carson has only responded to media by calling the issue a personnel matter.
After one of his own officers quit, Fallaw turned in his resignation last month. Two other officers — representing the remainder of the department — reportedly did the same in the days that followed.
The lack of local police has created a burden outside of North city limits, as county authorities are now tasked with policing the town on its own. Orangeburg County Administrator Harold Young explained the repercussions of what has been linked to a meddlesome mayor’s micromanagement.
“When you have to start policing areas that were not a part of your original jurisdiction,” he said, “it causes us to have to start using man power and other things in addition that causes overtime issues for the county. So there is a cost to the county for dealing with a situation like that.”
Thanks to her insistence on controlling the actions of officers patrolling the town’s streets, Fallaw said Carson likely reversed much of the progress he has witnessed during his more than 13-year tenure.
“We’ve given them a 60-percent reduction in violent crime and a 30-percent in property crimes and I’d love to continue that,” he told the station. “I just fear that, because of the way this panned out, that they’re going to go in reverse now.”