Vincent Police Chief and Assistant Chief suspended after alleged racist text message

City Council advises Mayor to terminate employees, votes to disband police department
Vincent Police Department to dissolve in wake of text message controversy
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 8:33 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2022 at 2:19 PM CDT
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VINCENT, Ala. (WBRC) - The Vincent City Council has approved a resolution to pursue termination of its Chief of Police and Assistant Chief of Police after a text message allegedly sent by the Assistant Chief contained racist rhetoric.

Vincent Mayor James D. Latimer announced the chief and the assistant chief were suspended with paid leave, but the city council advised the mayor to terminate both of the employees.

“This has torn this community apart,” said District Five Representative Corey Abrams. “It doesn’t matter what color we are as long as we do right by people.”

“I am making a motion that this city council advises the mayor to take the action necessary in order to take the steps to terminate both of these employees, because frankly, I personally do not want to see a reward for bad behavior of $16,000 for each person,” said District One Representative Gary Anaker.

The announcement came at the emergency city council meeting on August 4, 2022.

UPDATE: Vincent’s Mayor confirmed Friday August 5, 2022, there are now no officers in the department after the third officer resigned Thursday night/early morning.

The city council voted to pass a resolution to draft an ordinance dissolving the police department and the Mayor said city leaders will move forward with that so they can hear from community members. The ordinance would disband the department and create a contract with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement coverage permanently.

The city council expects the drafting process to take a few weeks. During this time, they plan to hold a public hearing to hear from residents about dissolving the department.

In the meantime, Mayor Latimer said the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office agreed to help with law enforcement coverage in the area.

Toward the end of the meeting, Anaker told the Vincent residents that they will conduct an independent investigation into the alleged racist text messages. He said it was a promise but couldn’t provide a timeframe.

We will continue to update this story as we learn more information.

I stand with the City of Vincent and equally condemn these allegations of misconduct within the Vincent Police Department. My office will be stepping in to serve the citizens of Vincent during this time.

Posted by Sheriff John Samaniego on Friday, August 5, 2022

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