Title: Bonifay Police Department Shut Down Following Controversial Incident
In an emergency meeting held on Friday afternoon, the Bonifay City Council unanimously voted to cease all operations of the Bonifay Police Department, effective immediately.
The decision comes in the wake of Chief Chris Wells’ resignation and the arrest of longtime officer Sergeant Jody Long, as reported by the Holmes County Advertiser.
The catalyst for this drastic action was the release of a body camera video in which Sergeant Jody Long was seen using excessive force during a response to a domestic disturbance call.
Although the audio was muted due to explicit language, the footage showed Long throwing a man to the ground, causing him to land on his head.
Long then proceeded to choke the man, despite his hands being handcuffed behind his back.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested Long on charges of first-degree misdemeanor battery for his unlawful and intentional actions.
Chief Chris Wells had already submitted a resignation letter with an effective date of May 19th, but the council decided to make the resignation effective immediately.
With the resignation of Chief Wells, the termination of Sergeant Long, and the previous loss of Deputy Chief Greg Yancey to cancer in January, the Bonifay Police Department faced significant staffing challenges.
To address the situation, the council passed a motion to place the department’s three remaining full-time officers on paid administrative leave.
Their fate will be determined after the council deliberates on the future direction of the department.
The officers were asked to surrender their badges, weapons, and other equipment, and the police department was secured on Friday afternoon.
During this transitional period, Holmes County Sheriff John Tate will provide law enforcement services to the Bonifay area.
The council will regroup to discuss further developments in this matter during Monday night’s meeting.
The closure of the Bonifay Police Department marks a significant turning point for the community, as they grapple with the aftermath of the controversial incident and work towards rebuilding trust in local law enforcement.