The already thin Waveland Police Department got a lot thinner this week when two long-time officers tendered their resignations.
Patrol Sgt. Travis Foreman and Patrolman David Archer both resigned this week citing personal reasons, officials said.
In January, Waveland laid off five full-time officers during a round of budgetary cuts.
The city also had to let go several part-time officers because the officers had not renewed their annual certification.
Foreman and Archer’s resignations were spread on the minutes of Wednesday’s board of aldermen meeting, but no replacements were hired.
Four of the officers laid off in January–Mike Prendergrast, Mac Cowand, Howard Parker, and Brett Ladner– filed suit against the city last month, claiming they were unfairly dismissed and denied due process under the city’s civil service policy.
No court date has been set in the case, but Waveland filed a motion to dismiss the case this week. City Attorney Gary Yarborough said in court filings that the officers were laid off for budgetary reasons and not entitled to a hearing.
It is unclear if the city will offer the open positions to any of the officers who were laid off. All four were administrators, but they all had prior experience as patrolmen.
Mayor David Garcia said Friday he could not comment on the police department.
“I really cannot comment on that right now, because four of those officers have pending lawsuits against the city,” Garcia said.
Traditionally, Waveland has had four officers per shift, three patrol officers and a supervisor.
Those numbers have remained relatively the same despite the lay-offs, with the use of part-timers.
The city has recently attempted to hire more part-time officers to compensate for the ones lost earlier this year.
The board of aldermen entered into an executive session Wednesday evening to discuss personnel matters in the police department, but no action was taken.
BY: Dwayne Bremer
The Sea Coast Echo