Two on Senatobia police force fired

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SENATOBIA, Miss. —  Two veteran police officers were booted from the Senatobia police force.

Assistant Police Chief Robert Brownlee and D.A.R.E. Officer Arthur Avant were terminated during the executive session of the Tuesday night meeting of the Senatobia Board of Aldermen.

"It's kind of a shocker," said Zuki Ferrell, who works at Franklin's Florist. "I can't imagine what happened."

Ferrell says Avant is well known and respected in Senatobia.

"He does all kinds of things to keep kids off of drugs and keep them in sports and running. It's just a big shocker to me cause he's such a big part of this community. "

Some anonymous letters have been sent to aldermen, but it was not clear that the firings were a result of this.

None of the four aldermen involved would provide answers.

"As far as the reasonings behind it, all I can say at this time is the aldermen are authorized and acted within the will and pleasure of the Board of Aldermen pursuant to Mississippi law, and that's really all I can say at this time," said Senatobia City Attorney David Slocum.

Senatobia's Mayor Alan Callicott spent Wednesday morning meeting with what he called a "demoralized" police department.

"As one may imagine, morale is not its best this morning. But we will persevere and get through this and there will be brighter days ahead," he said

Callicott said he didn't have a vote in the matter and his heart goes out to the fired officers.

In the meantime folks like Donna Franklin want to know what happened and when the public will get answers.

"They both been on the force anywhere between 19 and 17 years. I hadn't heard anything bad about them," she said.