Orange County News

Plan to disband Fullerton Police Department on hold for now

Wednesday, August 08, 2012
The Fullerton Police Department is seen in this undated file photo.

The Fullerton Police Department is seen in this undated file photo. (KABC Photo)

Any plans to disband the Fullerton Police Department appear to be on hold.

The City Council on Tuesday voted against an initial study that would have looked at having the Orange County Sheriff's Department patrol the city.

The police department came under widespread criticism after the death of Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill homeless man who died after a violent confrontation with Fullerton officers last July. Thomas' father said he thinks dissolving the department is a bad idea.

"I don't buy it at all. I think it's a matter of the City Council still does not have control or an idea of what their police department does. That was one of my complaints from the beginning of this," said Ron Thomas.

Those who support the outsourcing plan said it could save the city money and should be revisited in the future.

Fullerton's police department, which is about 100 years old and is one of the oldest in the nation, has undergone major changes in the past year. The police chief retired, three officers quit and two officers have been charged in Thomas' death.

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