Former Police Chief Responds to Firing, Officer Resignations

Cedarville Police Chief Mark Gentry was fired and six other officers resigned Wednesday (Oct. 2).

Gentry says Mayor Glenanna O’Mara sent him a text Tuesday night requesting a meeting with him on Wednesday.

During the meeting with O’Mara and the city’s attorney, Gentry says he was fired without the opportunity to resign.

“Our meeting lasted about three minutes,” said Gentry. “She just simply explained we are an at will state, as you know, and we can terminate anyone without any kind of notice or reason.”

In a statement, O’Mara said “There are no allegations pf wrong doing during Chief Gentry’s tenure.”

Gentry said he was left with many questions including what he should tell people was the reason for his firing.

“She said, ‘Nothing to say, and perhaps it’s better that you not know,’” said Gentry.

Six police officers, including George Cabaniss, resigned from the department as a result of Gentry’s firing.

“We felt like since the person we had put our faith and stock in had been terminated, that pretty much terminated our relationship with the city too,” said Cabaniss who said Gentry is also his best friend and pastor.

Cedarville still has two remaining police officers. O’Mara said they will be supervised by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department in the mean time, and an interim chief will be hired to take responsibility of the department.

Gentry was appointed to the position in August after David Goss retired due to medical problems. Before that he had served as the assistant chief. He’d been acting as interim chief since Goss stepped down in June.

Mayor O’Mara’s statement released after Gentry was relieved of his duties:

“We are an at-will employer in the state of Arkansas where it isn’t required to give reasons of dismissal. An employee may leave employment, or an employer may remove an employee with no reasons given. Six officers also chose to leave the employment of the city. Only the Chief of Police hires and appoints or removes the officers of a department. There are no allegations of wrong doing during Chief Gentry’s tenure. The remaining officers are serving the citizens of Cedarville with the aid and supervision of the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department. Coverage has not lapsed and will continue for our residents. An interim Chief is being hired immediately to take responsibility of the department and will be announced in a short period of time.”

23 comments

    • Susan

      9 officers, correct. If you will drive the stretch thru Cedarville you will see 6-8 parked, waiting with baited breath. Fire the Mayor!!! What a waste of money.

  • Concerned

    There are lots of rumors of corruption in that department. I think this may serve as some element of truth those rumors.

  • Angel

    well if they fired the cheif, 6 resigned that leaves 2. should be a enough to do the job until another can be hired. why in the world would they need 9 cops?

    • cb06

      The former chief did NOT contact the media. He was contacted by the media who found out about it. Also, if you don’t think Cedarville needs 9 officers then obviously you don’t live there.

  • h2pd

    I think its a shame that he had to run to the media to air out his problems. And if the pd had 9 cops thats not the mayors fault its the chiefs.

    • Paula

      Karen MAYBE if you don’t know those people then MAYBE you should keep your mouth shut. You know nothing about these men and i know for a fact there are many years of law enforcement experience among this group.

  • Lauren

    Shame on all of you for bad-mouthing good people! People who worked hard to keep everyone safe for little or (as in most cases) NO MONEY.

    Mark Gentry is a wonderful man after God’s heart. He wanted nothing but the best for the community and it’s a shame we won’t benefit from his leadership.

  • Mark Smith

    Last three comments obviously from local trailer trash. “Shut your Mouth?”. Bet your kids loved hearing that growing up. Crack a book

    • Paula

      You need to crack a book because I didn’t say shut your mouth I said keep your mouth shut. Obviously you the trash you were refering to. By the way i’ve never lived in a trailer and never told my kids to shut your mouth. I only say keep your mouth shut to idiots like you.

  • Hotrod0527

    Its a shame that all of this has came back. Karma has a way of catching up doesn’t it Mayor. Maybe more investigating should be done. The mayor and your oh so man of god Mark Gentry are just as crooked as it comes. They backstabbed the former chief and forced him to resign, now it comes out that her new puppet wouldn’t do what she wanted so she got rid of him. They now have a real super wanna be female officer that doesn’t know the law up there running the city but is also just as corrupt as the mayor, be careful getting in their sites. If you stay on their good side you are good as gold but always be careful for the knife that will always be lingering around the corner.

  • Chelsea

    First of all the chief had a group of volunteer officers. No money waisted. Next u need 1 officer for every hour of the week. Do the math. Next I will say it is cedarvilles loss. They had a good chief and some good officers

  • Hotrod0527

    Well really you need to know the facts the chief and 2 other officers were paid so it wasn’t all volunteer and they were always around when the pay check was ready. They didn’t even work half the hours they claimed. The other bozos they had working for them should learn the meaning of law enforcement before trying to act like a professional officer.

    • Anthony Howell

      hotrod, I have no idea who you are and do not want to know but it is evident that you are educated beyond your intelligence. One of the officers who quit I know personally and very well, he has more than 30 years of law enforcement. I suggest that unless you can put the facts out there you man need to be silent.

      Anthony

  • hotrod0527

    Well I also have worked with these officers and the oh so great chief and man of god Mark Gentry. I will give you that they have a lot of knowledge regarding the job but they choose not to use it to better a city. Its all for a personal agenda. One of those officers I have known since a kid and thought the world of them until recently and learned that for his own personal gain he would back stab a life long friend. Since I have worked with these guys I do no a lot of facts and have behind the scene knowledge. So before insulting someone intelligence maybe you should have all of your facts straight and speak with more then one source. Oh yeah and I really don’t care to know who you are either.

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