Tyrus Byrd was elected as the first Black female mayor of Parma, a small city in Missouri. After her win and swearing in last Tuesday (April 14), much of Parma’s police force and several city official mysteriously quit their jobs.
Local outlet KFVS highlighted Byrd’s election and subsequent issues with city management in a report last week that was later updated Monday (April 20) morning. Outgoing mayor Randall Ramsey held the post for 37 years and was the first to announce the exodus of city staff. According to Ramsey, five of Parma’s six police officers, the city’s attorney, the city clerk, and the waste water treatment plant supervisor all handed in resignation letters citing “safety concerns.”
Just two of the outgoing officers were full-time while the three others were part-time reports local outlet WSMV. Adding to the abrupt nature of the firing, Mayor Elect Byrd tried to access the resignation letters and look into the concerns of safety but the computers were cleared of its former documents once she came into office. Byrd, who was born and raised in Parma, was once the city’s clerk as well and vowed to do her best to keep the city clean and intact.
City residents reacted to the walk-outs but stressed that Parma didn’t need that large of a police force and that they will give Byrd a chance to turn things around.
Some say they’re not worried about their safety and it wasn’t necessary to have that many on staff for a city the size of Parma.
Some say they’re relieved about the situation and that Parma doesn’t have that many problems in town to require so many officers.
“I think it was pretty dirty the way they all quit without giving her a chance, but I don’t think they hurt the town with quitting because who needs six police for 740 people?” said Martha Miller of Parma.
Ironically, Mayor Ramsey lost the election by 37 votes, one vote for each year he held office.