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Coker dismissed as Fritch Police Chief

April 9, 2012

A group of Fritch citizens gathered Monday afternoon to protest the dismissal of Kirk Coker as Police Chief of the City of Fritch. The announcement was made early Monday. PHOTO BY DON RICE

On Monday morning, Kirk Coker was dismissed as the Chief of Police for the City of Fritch.
Monte Leggett, Chief Administrator for the Fritch Police Department, confirmed on Monday afternoon that Coker was no longer with the Fritch Police Department.
As to the reasons behind Coker’s dismissal, Leggett said he was not able to comment on personnel issues but stated “the rest of the officers on the Fritch Police Department are committed to serving the city of Fritch now and going forward in the future.”
Fritch residents recently expressed concerns about Coker’s role with the police department since late March.
When asked about Coker’s role with the Fritch PD on April 2nd, Fritch City Manager Bobby Lamb told the Borger News Herald, “Chief Coker is still the chief.”
Monday afternoon the News Herald contacted Fritch Mayor Kevin Keener for a comment and to ask what led to the city’s decision to dismiss Coker. Keener said they he could not comment on the city’s decision.
The News Herald contacted Coker who said he needed to consult with his attorney before making any comments.
The News Herald attempted to contact Lamb for comment, but was told by a City of Fritch representative that he was unavailable.
Coker has been with the Fritch Police Department since August 22, 2011, when he came from the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Department and resigned from his position as Deputy replacing Terry Cox, who resigned as Chief of Police on July 29, 2011.
Leggett said Victor Vargas, current Police Services Supervisor, will step in and do some of the chief duties until a new chief is named.
On March 24th, Coker was named Man of the Year by the Fritch Area Chamber of Commerce.
**Friends and members of the Fritch community are planning to hold a prayer vigil at Coker's residence Tuesday evening at 6:00 p.m.

Source 
Borger News Herald

Comments

Coker is better off

April 17, 2012 by bereal (not verified), 1 year 52 weeks ago
Comment: 1153

I can not imagine Kirk sacrificing his moral integrity to keep such a lousy job. Terry lasted so long because he had no integrity. He was by and far the most crooked cop I ever met. I thought the city had woke up to the reality of the crimes being committed right in front of their faces when they hired Kirk, including those committed by Terry. Kirk had many reasons to complain. The city has always valued busting speeders over stopping the thefts, drug dealers, and meth cooks. The Fritch PD habitually stomped on the rights of people not from the area while turning a blind eye to the activities of friends, family, and long time neighbors.

When I lived in Fritch I got ripped off. When I called the police I was told they would not do anything because I did not have no trespassing signs posted. My neighbor who saw the theft and knew the perpetrators refused to get involved because she said she would be next. I got on Terry's bad side after that and stayed there even after moving to Borger.

If that is how the city expected Kirk to behave I would think he already had his bags packed and was ready to go back south.

I would also like to know why Terry Cox resigned. Rumor was that the Rangers were looking into all sorts of allegations of misconduct to include profiling, hindering prosecution, and illegal personnel practices. Then as the DEA and Rangers were closing in on the fernandez crew, Terry leaves virtually unannounced. I was not alone in recognizing the dealers and the meth cooks. I can not imagine Terry could not spot them. But I do know that as far as the city and local school board was concerned, they refused to admit Fritch has a serious drug problem. To say otherwise was considered blasphemy. I was informed by a school board member that Fritch is "conservative" when it comes to sex and drug education. Translation being that a good citizen sticks his or her head in the sand.

Lesson learned

April 10, 2012 by Dak Brannigan (not verified), 2 years 6 days ago
Comment: 1150

For the minions who are going out showing support for Chief Coker, Good luck but your efforts are in vain as he will not get his job back. Nothing against you but he sank that ship the minute he hung up the phone after giving the TV news reporter who shall remain nameless his thoughts on what the city was doing to or against him.
Here's a lesson in keeping a job: if you ever find yourself at odds with your boss, do yourself a favor and don't go whining to some reporter who can care less how your life turns out as long as he gets his story. I would bet that the reporter who took the interview knew Coker would lose his job the second the City fathers saw or heard the interview but hey, its all for the story right?
Before anybody starts spouting epithets about the first amendment, that right to free speech protects you from the federal government, not your boss.
For you city volunteers who might want to go to the press and bad mouth the city for what they did, go for it. Just remember, your schedule for Monday evenings just opened up.

Speaking from ignorance, I am, . . .

April 11, 2012 by jimbo (not verified), 2 years 6 days ago
Comment: 1151

because I know nothing about this particular situation. I have heard good things about the professionalism of Coker, but that is anecdotal, not based on long-term knowledge.

I do, however, have long-term knowledge of small town politics and small town police departments. There are two types of policepersons in small towns: those who have been fired and those about to be fired. Why someone would want to go into this field is beyond me. The pay is low, the training is often lower, the temptation is high, and the rewards are few. It can be a depressing, demanding occupation.

That said, most cops who get themselves fired had it coming. I love the comment below about "digging into the kitty or jumping on one", that pretty well sums it up. Small towns have small town "Boss Hoggs", who often get their bowels in an uproar over piddly issues and turf wars no one can win (except the crooks, of course).

Lesson to be learned

April 10, 2012 by Dak Brannigan (not verified), 2 years 6 days ago
Comment: 1149

I can only hope that the minions who are out there protesting will take a lesson from all of this. If ever your job isn't going well for whatever reason, DON'T go to the media whining about it. Mr. Coker knew, or should have known that broadcasting his grievances via the news media would get him a fast trip to the unemployment line. Before anyone out there starts spouting epithets about your right to free speech, keep in mind that the first amendment protects you from the federal government, not your employer. The media will twist anything you say to suit their own purposes and I would bet that the reporter who wrote the original story for the TV station in question knew that airing the phone interview would cause Chief Coker to lose his job.
Remember, eyes open, mouth shut!

So whats new?

April 10, 2012 by userwithabrain (not verified), 2 years 6 days ago
Comment: 1147

I have lived in Fritch for over 50 years and I can remember a story on just about every police chief we have had..I don't know what this one has done, but when it comes out, we will all say..ohhhhh,,not again!!!
It's always either someone dipping into the kity or jumping on one..most of us could tell stories that would make for good reading, it might be from a playboy or court report, but it seems to be the only thing that makes this little town unit..so go get your pitchforks out of the barn,light a flame and lets geturdun!!!!

He lasted longer than I thought he would

April 9, 2012 by bereal (not verified), 2 years 1 week ago
Comment: 1146

He must have threatened to arrest one of the mayor's relatives. So much for busting the meth cooks, drug dealers, and pedophiles.

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