Howe Swears In New Police Chief After Previous Chief Fired

HOWE, Okla. (KFSM) -- The mayor of Howe swore in a new police chief on Wednesday (July 4), two days after the mayor fired the previous police chief after he was arrested on a shoplifting charge.

New Howe Police Chief Josh Stallings was originally set to begin work July 13, but the town needed him sooner, so he was sworn in on the Fourth of July.

"I worked here before I reserved here in 2013," Stallings said. "I look forward to bringing my experiences. I went through a whole lot of training for community policing, bringing that style of policing to the city.

"I really look forward to learning the community and building a trust between the police department and the community."

Trust is a key factor, since that trust was recently broken when former Police Chief John Edward Doyle Jr. was arrested in Fort Smith and accused of shoplifting at the Kelley Highway Walmart.

According to the arrest report, Doyle is accused of switching a $29.88 tag on an item with a $5.97 tag. Doyle told police that it was "stupid" and "an adrenaline rush," the report said.

Howe's mayor, Phyllis Fields, fired Doyle and found Stallings within two days.

Stallings, 25, has spent the past five years working as a police officer at Northeastern State University.