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Resident Concerned About Powerless Police Chief

By Erica Williams
By ewilliams@wbbjtv.com

GRAND JUNCTION, Tenn- A West Tennessee town is going without police protection after a city board meeting stripped their police chief from most of his duties.

The Grand Junction Board of Alderman unsuccessfully tried to fire their acting police chief. Though he is still on the job, his authority to make arrests have been revoked.

The town's mayor, Curtis Lane, read a letter to residents from Assistant District Attorney, Joe Van Dyke. The letter stated that the acting Police Chief, Justin Powers, is not allowed to make arrests or issue any warrants due to lack of credibility with the District Attorney's office. The letter did not state why.

"We're paying for stuff we're not receiving because he's limited to what he can do," said Grand Junction resident, Gloria Camper.

Mayor Lane said all criminal activity will be handled by the Hardeman County Sheriff's Department, located in Bolivar. Powers is only allowed to issue traffic citations and minor city ordinances.

"How can he protect me as a citizen when all he can do is write tickets and see if the grass is mowed properly," said Grand Junction resident, Perry Lane.

Powers said he feels his rights have been revoked unfairly because of what he considers, 'corruption in the Sheriff's office'. Sheriff John Doolen and District Attorney Mike Dunavant declined to comment due to the pending investigation.