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Police Chief Dave Hale's resignation was announced at tonight's special Council meeting.

Police Chief Dave Hale's resignation was announced at tonight's special Council meeting.

Police chief resigns

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At a special Council meeting Tuesday night attended by several hundred villagers, Police Chief Dave Hale resigned his position in the aftermath of police actions that created chaos and distress for hundreds of villagers at Saturday’s downtown New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.

“I believe the best way to heal the rift is for me to resign my position,” Hale wrote in a a statement read by Village Manager Patti Bates at the beginning of the meeting.

Village Solicitor Chris Conard announced that an investigation into the event has begun, and that information from the investigation will not be public until the end of the investigation. Council has scheduled a meeting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 30, at which time more information should be known, although the investigation may not be complete.

On New Year’s Eve, officers drove several police cars with sirens blaring and lights flashing into the crowd in an attempt to disperse the crowd beginning eight minutes after midnight. The action created chaos and agitation among many villagers, with escalating tension ending with an officer chasing a local resident and another officer attempting to tase the man, although the taser misfired.The man, David Carlson, has been charged with obstructing official business and petty theft.

It’s not clear who decided to use what Hale described as “extremely poor tactics” for dispersing the crowd, nor who was in charge, Council members said. However, Bates stated that it appears that “the officer in charge deviated from his directions,” although the officer is currently off work with an injury from the event.

About 40 villagers spoke at the overflow event, with most expressing strong concern and distress at the police tactics and the need to overhaul policing in Yellow Springs.

Council member Marianne MacQueen also announced that the Yellow Springs Police have charged her with two misdemeanors, obstructing official business and obstructing an arrest (of someone else). MacQueen was at the New Year’s Eve event and tried to convince police to change their tactics.

See the Jan. 5 News for a more detailed story.

The Village of Yellow Springs has provided a copy of Hale’s resignation letter; click here to view a .pdf of the letter.


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