A Missouri police department is defunct after it’s chief resigned facing backlash from shooting and killing a caged dog with his firearm, so he could respond to a traffic accident.
Former Sparta Police Chief Andrew Spencer resigned his post after the town asked him to accept a demotion to sergeant.
Normally, the town maintains three officers to protect their 1,700 residents, but according to local reports, both other cops in their department resigned to take jobs with the Christian County Sheriffs Office.
Meanwhile, stunned residents are left seeking justice for their slain pet, and have taken to Facebook to tell the “Story of Chase,” where they also published the original police report shown below. This is The story of Chase, a mixed breed dog pulled from rescue only to be needlessly slain 16 months later.
PINAC investigator Mike Rekart contacted the Sparta Police Department to request public records.
“I was surprised that when calling the PD, that the recording said to leave a message (thinking someone would return my call) and then after leaving multiple messages, was even more surprised that the city currently does not have a police department.”
The Missouri cop captured the dog roaming the streets of small town Sparta – an exurb of of Springfield – because town law prohibits the American pitbull breed.
However, Sparta also requires its police to hold all animals for five days too.
“Most communities have laws regarding the handling of stray dogs and I don’t believe any of them give a police officer the right to murder a restrained dog on site,” said bully breed rescue operator Gillian Palacios whose own mixed breed dog Dutchess was recently killed by Florida City police,
“The dog should have been held at the designated facility for the required waiting period to give his family a chance to find him.”
Instead, the chief made a shortsightedly callous decision to shoot the caged dog.
Now, the 1,700 person community must rely on Christian County sheriff’s deputies for irregular patrols.
Clearly, this town provides only the most spartan arrangements for its few inhabitants, but it brings into question how many law enforcement officers are really needed by any town.
Missouri’s small towns like Ferguson are infamous for using their municipal courts and police as tax collection officers.
In this case, it seems like an outpost of the county’s police department might provide better service, without the tiny town needing to be involved in the minutiae of training and records keeping for a sole officer.
In fact, quite a lot of small towns and villages might be able to de-police and offer better service with dedicated outposts of larger police organizations.
The expense of properly training and equipping a three person force with anything more than basic training and oversight for officers seems a bit much for a 1,700 person town.
Maybe that’s why Chief Spencer was offered a demotion, but to stay with the tiny town’s department.
“It is disturbing to say the least that a law enforcement officer, someone entrusted with the guarding the safety of our community would have such little regard for life,” said Palacios, “It is beyond me why he felt the need to murder a dog that was clearly already restrained in a crate.”