JONESTOWN, Miss. — There’s a town of more than 1,000 in Mississippi, and its sole law enforcement officer says the mayor won’t let him work more than 20 hours a week. But the mayor says that officer “won’t do anything at all.”

The Clarksdale Press-Register reported on last Monday’s Jonestown City Council meeting, which featured the dispute between Police Chief Rico Smith and Mayor Kenny Lester, who suspended the former for insubordination and laid off the other two officers last month.

At the meeting, Jonestown resident Billy Martin complained that there were no night patrols and that he didn’t know when the chief was on duty to handle problems. Smith replied that he didn’t want would-be criminals to know his schedule.

Lester said hiring more officers under ineffectual leadership would be useless.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.