New Bloomfield chief of police resigns 'in lieu of being fired'

New Bloomfield chief of police resigns 'in lieu of being fired'

NEW BLOOMFIELD, Mo. - According to a Facebook post made by the New Bloomfield Police Department, Chief Greg Mooney has resigned.

"I was given the option to resign this evening in lieu of being fired. I was informed that with talking to the media and posting public information on this page without permission, I violated the media policy of the city," Mooney said in the post. "This Facebook page is scheduled for deletion in 14 days at the request of the mayor and mayor pro-tem. Again, thank you for your support..."

Mooney told ABC 17 News he was unaware of a city media policy. ABC 17 News asked the city for a copy of the policy, but was told to send a formal open records request.

Mayor Greg Rehagen could not be reached for comment Thursday. Mooney was on Thursday afternoon leaving City Hall where he said he met with city officials.

Mooney gave the following statement to ABC 17 News on Thursday:

“During my time with New Bloomfield Police Department my focus was always the citizens I swore to serve and protect.  I cared about the citizens to the point of butting heads with the mayor and city council.  I enlightened the citizens with public information on the city’s Facebook page after the city council started cutting positions, hours and talking about disbanding the police department.  

Unfortunately for the citizens, this upset the mayor and members of the city council.  If I had asked for permission to post that information or talk with the media it would have been denied.  So I did what was best for the citizens and let them know what the city was doing.  This led to my departure from the city.   

I was always be grateful for the support the community has shown through all of this."

ABC 17 previously reported on the Feb. 9 City Hall meeting, where residents voiced their questions, opinions and concerns regarding the city losing one sergeant and leaving them with one officer.

Sarah Garriott, a New Bloomfield resident and mother of four, said she feels more vulnerable leaving in a city without a police force. She said her children are already asking about their safety.

"Are there lives not valued enough to have one officer to protect them?"

Jason Piper, board member of New Bloomfield’s Police and Code Enforcement Committee, gave ABC 17 News the following statement Thursday:

"I was saddened to hear of Chief Mooney’s resignation but he has provided the community an opportunity to take action and continue to hold our City Council accountable for next steps. This is not the end of our story, but sets forth a series of questions the community will be asking, along with promised answers that have been continually delayed since the beginning of the year. New Bloomfield residents will certainly be interested to hear in the continued plans for police and code enforcement through 2018 and beyond during the Thursday, March 8 City Council meeting."

Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism said deputies have regularly patrolled New Bloomfield for decades and will continue to do so.

He said deputies will not be able to enforce any city ordinance violations.

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