The city of Warrenton and Warrenton Police Department accepted the resignation of an officer arraigned Aug. 12, after he was allegedly found arranging the sale of firearms as a private citizen.
Ray P. Ayers, who plead not guilty on all charges in arraignment, turned in a letter of resignation Aug. 7, and City Manager Kurt Fritsch accepted. Ayers was charged with Aggravated Felony B Theft 1, Felony C Theft, Misdemeanor A Forgery 2, tampering with physical evidence and official misconduct.
Police Chief Mathew Workman said the hiring process will begin as soon as possible. Decisions still need to be made about whether the city will hire someone already certified through the police academy or not.
“If we hire someone not certified, the process will be more extensive,” Workman said.
“The officer we hired last November just finished the academy a month ago and won’t start until September.”
The loss of a police-force member won’t impact hiring so much as it affects the department now. Right now WPD has eight working officers. When the trainee begins they will still be one short.
“It gets really tough when you take one person out,” Workman said.
“I’ve covered a ton of day shifts this year to make up.”
Workman said it’s hard to hire someone and know what their actions will be in the future. Psychological evaluations and written tests are done to prevent similar situations, but they are not psychic.
“A plumber does something like this and it’s not big news, but a cop does and it is big news – and it should be,” Workman said.
“We are held to a higher standard because we should know better, but cops are still human.”
Ayers’ next hearing will be a final resolution conference at 2 p.m. Oct. 29