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June 28, 2012

Verdigris police chief terminated

VERDIGRIS —  

Verdigris Mayor Keith Crawford confirmed Wednesday the termination of the town’s Chief of Police Mark Cleveland. 
“There have been some things we’ve not been happy with regards to the chief and the council decided to go a different direction, leading to our decision to let Mark go at Tuesday night’s trustee meeting,” Crawford said. 
“Mark did a good job for us during the time he was here. There was nothing egregious on either side,  but since his hiring (as chief), we’ve found him to be an effective patrolman, but not as effective as an administrator, which is important.”
Cleveland served as the Town of Verdigris’ second chief of police, succeeding previous chief Barry Lamb in August 2011, who had first taken over the then-newly created position in August 2008.
Lamb also is no longer employed with the Verdigris Police Department. He is currently living and working in western Oklahoma, Crawford said.
“Until we can find a suitable replacement for Mark, I’ll be acting as an administrator for the (police) department, helping to coordinate schedules,” Crawford said. “We’re already actively pursuing a new chief. We wish Mark all the best.”
Verdigris Police Department staff consists of two full-time officers, two-part time officers and seven reserve officers, which serves the “roughly 4,000” citizens that populate the Verdigris area, Crawford said.
Town of Verdigris trustees meet every third Thursday of the month, plus special meetings. Trustees include Crawford, Rusty Magiera, and Doug Goodhue. Treasurer Glenda Ream and Clerk Susan Beck also attend all meetings of the Verdigris trustees.
When contacted, Cleveland declined comment.

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