CLIFFORD — Clifford’s town marshal was in need of a patrol car. But now that one has been donated, the town needs a new marshal.
The town council in this small northern Bartholomew County town has accepted a donated police car from the Crothersville Police Department. But former Clifford town marshal Charlie DeWeese, who had been patrolling the town in his own personal vehicle, is no longer in the town marshal role.
“Right now that’s not up for discussion,” said Danny James, Clifford Town Council president.
DeWeese has said he is in legal negotiations with the town over his role as town marshal, an unpaid job for years, and can’t comment about the matter. He said he has not resigned, but he is also not patrolling.
Meanwhile, the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department is providing patrols for the town, James said.
The possibility of Clifford having its own police car materialized after a Republic story in December about DeWeese patrolling in his personal vehicle, a 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer, as town council members continued to search for a police vehicle after the old one stopped running.
DeWeese’s Trailblazer wasn’t equipped with flashing lights and sirens, so he couldn’t make traffic stops or transport anyone to jail. In those circumstances, he had to call the sheriff’s department for assistance.
Someone passed the story along to the Crothersville Police Department, which had a 2009 Ford Crown Victoria that had been in use from 2012 to 2016 but was retired after the department purchased new vehicles.
Chief Brent Turner said he planned on getting rid of the car, but when he read a story about Clifford’s town marshal having to use his personal vehicle on the job, he proposed donating the car to Clifford.
“We’ve got three cars here we’re not using,” Turner said. “Being from a small police department, when I was in Medora, I knew how it was not having a car. You can’t do your job.”
For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Republic.