Police action angers some Achille residents - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Police action angers some Achille residents

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A large crowd attended the Achille City Council meeting on March 12, 2019. (KTEN) A large crowd attended the Achille City Council meeting on March 12, 2019. (KTEN)
Some Achille residents want an overhaul of the town's police department. (KTEN) Some Achille residents want an overhaul of the town's police department. (KTEN)

ACHILLE, Okla. -- The suspension of four Achille Police Department officers last week prompted a heated meeting at Tuesday night's City Council.

Some citizens -- several wearing "Make Achille Great Again" T-shirts -- are calling for the entire police department to be terminated, but only Chief Chris Watson was fired.

The standing-room-only crowd was triggered by a recent incident in which police officers conducted a search at the home of City Council member Bryan Baker.

Investigators said they were searching the home for a weapon after receiving a tip that Baker's wife, Ashley Baker, had been seen carrying a gun. She is a convicted felon, so it's illegal for her to carry a weapon.

Authorities said they didn't find a weapon in the couple's home, but discovered a gun in a barn on the property.

Ashley Baker was taken to the Bryan County Jail, but was released a short time later. It turns out that the weapon belonged to Michael Coble, who is renting the barn from the Bakers. 

Since the case backfired, the officers were suspended with pay.

"They busted in Bryan Baker's house... I mean, the disrespect alone," said Achille resident Toby Naton. "They could have went and knocked on that man's door to serve a search warrant. It just goes to show you that our former police chief doesn't have any respect for this community."

Mayor David Northcutt said he wanted to assure Achille residents that he wants the best for their town.

"Sheriff's deputies will be down to assist and help," he said. "The townspeople of Achille should know that they are safe; that everything will be fine."

But Naton said he feels that his voice isn't being heard.

"You had the biggest turnout the town has ever had," he said. "These cops do have a habit of retaliating, and that's the big problem in this town."

At the Council's next meeting on Tuesday, the panel will review applications for the vacant chief of police position.

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