“I can not rest at night,” Oklahoma town fires only police officer

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PAOLI, Okla. - A police chief is fired and now no one is left to patrol the town of Paoli.

Several residents in town are upset because of the way he was let go, and are worried that their closest officer is miles away.

"You can not do that, you can not tell us we can't have police presence in this town," cries one woman during a heated Paoli town hall meeting.

During that meeting, the city voted to dismiss their only police officer.

The dismissal was allegedly for insubordination, but it came after a most unusual speech.

Former Chief Mark Fuzzell stood in front of the town just before the meeting started, accusing city leaders of several items including embezzlement, nepotism and violating the Open Meetings Act.

KFOR reached out to Paoli city officials, but they were unable to comment.

"I gave my report in full to the town, was tried to be blocked from giving my report," said Fuzzell. "Was told that I was given leave and terminated for insubordination."

With no other officers in town, keeping crime off the Paoli streets is now up to the Garvin County Sheriff's Office, which is nearly eight miles away in Pauls Valley.

"Without me on duty, our town has no defense and no police," said Fuzzell.

KFOR met with Fuzzell at a park in Paoli.

During the interview, residents created an impromptu protest across from city hall.

"The only type of protection we have at this time is the Garvin County Sheriff's Department," said one concerned citizen. "[Sheriff's] do an excellent job, but they have limited resources as well."

"I feel like I can not rest at night, cause I wonder about what's going on with my mother," said Janice Beasley, whose mother lives in Paoli. "She's disabled...so as for her being able to protect herself, she can't."

City officials did not comment to KFOR on either their dismissal of Fuzzell or the numerous allegations against board members.

Fuzzell says he will appeal their decision.

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