Entire Oran force quits leaving town without police
By: CJ Cassidy
By: CJ Cassidy
ORAN, Mo. - Would you feel safe living in a town that didn't have a police department? Former Oran Chief Marc Tragesser resigned Tuesday, along with the only two other officers on staff.
The Chief began his struggles with townsfolk soon after taking over his new job last summer. Mayor Tom Urhahn tells me they've already advertised for two full time police officers. In the meantime, Scott County sheriff's deputies will patrol Oran.
"This doesn't make police run - it makes us want to do our job," Tragesser said back in August, referring to vandals who left their mark on the town. Now, folks like Kelly Prochak want to know why he didn't stick to his guns. "What if something really serious happens, and you needed a cop and they're not here. It takes them 15 or 20 minutes to get here from Scott County - it's scary," she says.
Scott County deputies spent the day taking stock of the guns Tragessar and his officers left behind. "We're going to cover the town until they hire somebody. I hope it's real soon. I don't feel like we have enough man power people to cover the town 24 hours a day," Sheriff Rick Walter tells Heartland News.
But at the Quik Shop across town, other residents say having Scott county deputies on hand is all they need. "There's nothing to happen around this little town. It's peaceful," Ronnie Phillips says.
Some blame Tragesser himself. "He would have probably been good in a high crime rate area, not here, because we don't have no high crime rate like that," Michael Hatley says. "We just got the wrong guy for this community this time. I'm sure the next guy we get will be great," Phillips adds.
Kelly Prochak isn't so sure. "If you obey by the rules and the laws you were doing okay," she says.
The department wasn't open 24 hours a day even when Oran had an active police force.
We were not able to reach Marc Tragessar himself, but the mayor says Tragessar wanted to move on, and now works for the Mississippi County Sheriff.