WASHINGTON, GA (WFXG) - The Washington City Council voted Thursday evening to reduce the police budget to $0, effectively shutting down and disbanding the municipal police department.
"I just had one officer coming out in tears," said Police Chief Theodosia Glenn. "She has worked hard for her career, and now it's gone up in smoke."
It's a decision that fractured the small town in Wilkes county, with both sides making their case.
The Mayor said having the Sheriff's Office take over patrol of the city will save taxpayer dollars.
"I have talked to Sheriff Moore," said Mayor Ames Barnett. "You will have protection, and you will have the same amount of officers on shift."
But the NAACP and their band of demonstrators who charged down city streets Thursday afternoon are calling foul.
"We are simply taking a stand for the community," said Rev. Lance Pitts, Wilkes Co. NAACP. "We are concerned about the safety and security of this community being under threat."
Glen said she doesn't know what the next step is.
"There are so many uncertainties," said Glen. "Do we need to apply to the sheriff's department, are we going to get our pension, are they going to pay us for our sick time that we got, are they going to pay us for our annual leave that we have left, we don't know."
The final details of that deal with the Wilkes County Sheriff's Office has not yet been ironed out.