Iva residents petition to dissolve police force
IVA, South Carolina: Some Iva residents are demanding a vote on whether to dissolve the police department and last month they submitted a petition with approximately 150 signatures. Petition supporters argue that they no longer feel protected by city police. Instead the petition calls for the Anderson County police department to look over the town. Henry Holley, local resident and supporter of the petition, said “In my opinion, it will save the town a lot of money. The police department in my opinion is corrupt." However, Iva Mayor Bobby Gentry said that after the petition was submitted, some residents complained that the petition had not been properly presented to them when they signed it. “They’ve said thought they were signing a petition to do an economic impact study of contracting with the county. Others said they thought they were signing a petition against raising town taxes,” he said. Holley and supporters disregarded the complaints as untrue.“As a matter of fact, people have been coming to me asking to sign the petition. However, if someone feels they've been misled, they have the right to have their names removed," said Holley.
The town of Iva has a grand total of 5 police officers with an annual budget of $295,000. “From there, we’ll get together with the Municipal Elections Commission, and the town attorney, but I do not know when the petition will go before the town council in the form of a referendum vote,” said town clerk Tim Taylor. Once the signatures are verified, the council must decide whether the question will be on the ballot for residents to vote.