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January 9, 2013

Back on the beat

Kemp Police swear in chief as department re-opens

KEMP —

After eight months without a police department, the City of Kemp swore in a new police chief on Wednesday.

Jimmy Council is Kemp’s new chief of police. Council, a longtime Kaufman County resident, was part of the Kemp Police Department when it was disbanded.

“Right now we will just have the chief,” City Administrator James Whitehead said. “In time we will hire more officers.”

The city plans on using local reserve officers until then.

In May, the council voted to dissolved the police department and fire the chief and four full time police officers. According to reports, the city had been plagued by financial issues when the decision was made. Richard Clemmo was chief at the time.

For the past eight months, the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department has been protecting the City of Kemp.

“Kaufman did an excellent job,” Whitehead said. “We feel like the city needs its own police protection.”

Whitehead said Council is doing inventory of the equipment available. Previous reports that the city had auctioned off a patrol car, bullet-proof vest, ammunition and other police-related items were false.

“I wasn’t here then, but we still have all the equipment,” Whitehead said. “The patrol car is ready to go.”

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