Police Chief expounds on resignation

Despite a large attendance at Tuesday night's Beardstown City Council meeting supporting the police chief who had submitted his resignation, discussion on a contract was to no avail.

Beardstown Police Chief Roy Hurst's resignation was officially accepted by Mayor Steve Patterson Thursday afternoon.

"I was unaware of the impact of just doing my job," Hurst said Friday morning regarding the show of support at the council meeting. "It's refreshing and quite humbling the support I've received."

During Tuesday's meeting, Hurst said he was willing to discuss the situation. However, an agreement on a contract was not reached at a subsequent meeting between the mayor and chief. In a letter that Hurst posted, salary was a point of contention.

Hurst has been serving as police chief since August 2013.

Below his letter:

Dear citizens of Beardstown, 

Given the events of this week, I feel obligated to make a public statement about my resignation. This is not a decision I made lightly, but with much prayer and consideration. I felt that Mayor Patterson and I have a difference of opinion as to the future of the Police Department and my role as Police Chief. Several times since I have been here, I have asked Mayor Patterson to negotiate a contract to ensure that I would have security in my job. He refused to speak on the contract. There have been promises made that were not kept. There were also several incidents that happened between us over the past year and a half and I felt that I could no longer effectively do my job under the conditions he had implemented on me. On Sunday, I informed Mayor Patterson that I would be turning in a resignation on Tuesday at the council meeting. He stated that he would be expecting it. On Tuesday morning, Mayor Patterson called me to his office and I provided him with a copy of my resignation. After the meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Patterson stated that he now wanted to talk about a contract, so I provided him with a copy of a contract that I was hoping would allow us to sit down and negotiate. I told him that there was only one stipulation that I would not negotiate on, and that was my intended salary. My requested salary is based on research of comparable cities of our actual size and falls well below the average. Now that I know the demands of this job, I do not feel this salary is unreasonable in any way. I do know and have shared ways this money can be saved. I believe that I have also proven my worth.

Today (March 5), Mayor Patterson called me in to his office and asked me if I was negotiable on the salary. I again explained to him that I was not and the reason was that the “raise” would cover my family plan insurance for the year, which is not paid for by the city. He then told me that he had discussed it with all of the alderman and there was no way they were going to go for the salary or a contract. Mayor Patterson then told me that he would accept my resignation and my last day would be March 31.

I am truly saddened by this. After the meeting on Tuesday night, I was very hopeful that we could sit down and come to an agreement. After seeing the support I received from the people in this community, I was confident that the city leaders would at least want to negotiate.

I would like to tell the people of Beardstown, THANK YOU! My wife and I are very overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support you have shown. Thank you for allowing my family to be part of your community. Thank you for showing support for the vision I had for the department. I truly wish things were different and I hope that safeguards are implemented to keep this from happening in the future.

ROY HURST