News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, April 30, 2013
WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW) -- Yet another Waynesboro police officer is calling it quits.
Tyrone Tablada turned in his resignation on Tuesday, making him the seventh officer to do this in just the last couple of months. It started with an incident at a local auto parts store.
"The officer became a little upset about it, and there was no fighting -- it was all verbal," said Chief Deputy Roosevelt Lodge of former Waynesboro Officer Tablada.
Tablada's wife, Donna Leigh Williams, is alleged to have taken money from an Advanced Auto Parts, the store where she worked.
"The officer has been dealt with," Lodge said.
Lodge is heading the police department while the city looks for a new chief. He says he gave Tablada the option to resign or be fired.
"He knew that his actions were inappropriate and out of policy. So, he decided to seek better opportunities elsewhere," Lodge said.
The resignation brings the recent total to seven.
"I think it's pretty crazy," said a Waynesboro resident.
Michael Henry lives in Waynesboro and says the chaos makes him feel indifferent about safety.
"Honestly I feel like the city is upside down right now; I don't know how to feel -- safe or not safe," Henry said.
But not everyone feels the same. Keya Mitchell works at a store just a few blocks from the auto parts store, and despite all the resignations, she says the police department is doing a good job. Mitchell says they proved it when they handled a theft that happened a month ago at her store.
"They are on it because they were always coming in making sure we did this, we did that, had paperwork right, this and that. So, the investigators ... they did their job," Mitchell said.
And while Lodge knows everyone is concerned with the resignations, he says people in Waynesboro are safe.
"The department is still functional. We are operating professionally, we still have an open-door policy," Lodge said.