Police drawdown over airsoft gun may lead to disbandment of department
When the police chief of a small North Dakota town stopped his cruiser and drew his sidearm on a local father practicing with an airsoft gun in his own yard, it set off a chain of events that may have caused the chief to quit, and could shutter the whole department.
Valley City, the county seat of Barnes County, as noted by Wiki is a small town of just under 7,000. Nicknamed the "City of Bridges" it is a town whose history dates back to 1878 and is the hometown of current t Missouri Southern State University head basketball coach and former four-year starter at Kansas, Jeff Boschee.
A nice quiet town that would seem to respect sports. Which leads us to...
Valley City Police Chief Fred Thompson, via Grand Forks Herald
As reported by the Grand Forks Herald in October recent Nevada transplant, Valley City Police Chief Fred Thompson was driving home from work when he thought he saw a man with an AR-15 and children "diving behind things."
With that, Thompson stopped and drew his gun on the man, who turned out to be a father playing airsoft in his front yard with his kids. Although no one was hurt, Thompson suddenly decided to resign effective in January, and for the record, he announced it was not because of the incident.
But wait, there's more
Soon a local concerned citizen, Robert Drake, began circulating a petition calling for the small town department to close its doors, lay Thompson off before his notice is worked out, and turn law enforcement in the city over to the local sheriff.
"We've got a chief of police right now that's the biggest idiot," said Drake. "He pulled a gun on a citizen ... a guy that was playing with his two kids. He can't tell the difference between an M-16 and an airsoft gun," Drake said.
Barnes County Sheriff Randy McClaflin said he is ready to take over if that's what the city wants, but isn't actively advocating for it.
Meanwhile, Drake, the local proponent of disbanding the force and firing Thompson before his resignation takes effect, has been barred from addressing the city council over his grievances.
"Let's err on the side of caution and tell him to go back to Nevada now," Drake told the Grand Forks Herald of what he intended to bend the council's ear over. "That's basically was what I was going to say."
We'll keep you posted.