White Hall without police force, dismisses contractual employee

Published 9:59 pm Thursday, April 3, 2014

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
The town of White Hall is without an active police department and has terminated its former volunteer fire chief from a contractual position as groundskeeper.

In answer to a question from Council member Ceodis Baker at Thursday’s regular council meeting, White Hall Mayor James Walker said, “Unfortunately, we were left without a police department, without a chief, and some officers that decided just to not come back.”

However, Walker said, the council will be making some decisions regarding the police department at its next meeting.

Email newsletter signup

Walker reported that he spoke to Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams, who assured him, he will have patrols in the area. And it was pointed out during the council meeting that State Troopers are patrolling the highway in White Hall.

Walker said, “We will have a certified officer back on the force, and I ask the community to try to bear with me on that.”

When asked what happened with Police Chief Tony M. Bufford, Walker said, “I have no idea. He did not submit a resignation. He just came to turn all his stuff in and left.”

Walker said there were also two police officer who left with Bufford, and one who stayed on.

Bufford was hired by the town of white Hall as part-time police chief in 2011.

In a separate matter, former White Hall Volunteer Fire Chief Stanley Watson said he was fired from a paid position with the town on Wednesday on some complaints he knew nothing about.

He said, “They won’t let me know what the complaint’s about. I’ve been here 27 years. Something has got to be done about that.”

Watson said, “We had a little altercation with the town clerk, and when I knew about it, I was fired the next day.”

He explained that his position with the Fire Department is volunteer, but he was hired through the town for a paid job keeping the grounds, cutting the grass, and keeping the building (town hall).

When asked about the Watson situation, Walker said, “Watson was a contractual worker here, and he defied his supervisor (the town clerk) that gave him a directive not only the first time… this is the third time that this matter had happened.”

Walker said, “You don’t yell at your supervisor and walk away from them when they are giving you a directive. So, I had no other alternative but to dismiss him.”