More than 30 people were in attendance at the Forsyth Board of Alderman meeting on Monday, Feb. 10 looking for answers following the recent unexpected resignation and retirement of former Forsyth Police Chief Roger Ellis and the demotion, and then firing, of former Forsyth Police Officer Bobby Sanderson.
Residents quest for an explanation on the recent staff changes to the police department was short-lived when, at the start of the meeting, Forsyth Mayor Kelly Dougherty said, while she understood why the residents were in attendance, Monday’s meeting would not include a public comment period.
“I do understand,” Dougherty said. “I’ve seen some of the Facebook comments and stuff. I do understand some concern and stuff. We won’t have public comment tonight. But if you would like to sit down with me and have a discussion, you can call city hall and I’ll do the best to accommodate you and we can have a discussion. It just won’t be on personnel.
“So call city hall. Ask to have an appointment with me, and I will call you back. But it won’t be on personnel. I would be more than happy to clear up anything that you have concerns about or try to address it the best I can.”
Ellis served as an Alaska State Trooper for 20 years before retiring to move into Taney County. He worked as a detective with the Taney County Sheriff’s Office for 12 years before joining the Forsyth Police Department in 2011 and being named police chief in 2015.
Sanderson joined the Forsyth Police Department in January 2019. At the end of the last year, following a Facebook poll, the Forsyth Chamber of Commerce named Sanderson Forsyth’s Police Officer of the year.