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Discussion over police reports signals some discord in Marlin leadership

Marlin City Hall
Posted at 6:22 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 21:07:22-04

MARLIN, TX — There's a lot of speculation as to the future of the Marlin's police department.

Chief Lawrence McCall says he wants to accomplish a lot, but a disagreement over numbers shows some communication issues among the leadership.

A bit of a dust up at Tuesday night's Marlin city council meeting has some wondering if they might see more personnel changes ahead. It started with city department reports streamed on Facebook.

"I haven't received any monthly reports from you, and I should be given a report from every department, and I've got to have yours," said Mayor Carolyn Lofton to Chief McCall.

The chief said he had the reports in his hands, they just didn't get distributed.

"Yes, it was a miscommunication. I did the numbers, but I guess they wasn't put in the packet. But I had the numbers, everything's good to go with the numbers," said Chief McCall.

But maybe not so much with the Marlin Police Department. The City hired McCall to take over a department that lost its chief to suicide during the execution of a warrant and a state investigation into the former chief's doings.

McCall has brought in some new blood to the department and wants to move ahead with community programs, but has found it harder to do than he expected. Publicly he's staying the course.

"Yeah, I'm here for the long haul. I've got a mission to complete here. I've got my community policing. I've got my neighborhood watch," said the chief.

But privately, he's considering a move if he can't get his programs going, something that comes as a shock to city leaders.

"We didn't get a letter of resignation last night at council," said City Manager Cedric Davis.

Those leaders call this a simple matter with a simple solution.

"Just forgot to turn 'em in. That happens to the best of us, and he did say he would give them to council. Council asked for 'em, just give us our stats," said Davis.

They don't want any discord to take away from the many good things Marlin has accomplished, like major road repair, re-opening of closed parks, and an easing of pressure to pay utility bills right away, as the coronavirus infected the economy, throwing many people out of work.

Some uneasiness remains, as the chief and the council try to focus their vision for Marlin PD.

"There's no report. I need to see your monthly report. Did you do a monthly report?" Lofton asked during the Tuesday night meeting.

While Chief McCall says he’s keeping his options open, he indicated no immediate desire to walk away from what he called a "challenging yet "rewarding" job.