Residents Accuse Urbana Police Chief of Misconduct, Ask For His Removal

URBANA, Mo. -- Some residents in the small town of Urbana in Dallas County are calling for the removal of the police chief.

Jeremy Gann is accused of inappropriate behavior and harassment towards women in the community. 

Urbana is home to just over 400 people and it seems most residents know about the allegations against Chief Gann and have an opinion about it. 

"This is what the community is talking about," said Casey Lewis. "Everybody knows when you go to sleep, when you wake up, what you eat for breakfast and where you're going for supper, you know." 

Complaints have been filed with council accusing Gann of sending nude photos to women and making unwanted sexual advances. 

Several residents spoke accusing or in favor of the chief at a city council meeting Wednesday night. 

"I'm not saying it's right to send "nudy" pics being a public officer, but it's not against the law on your private time," said one woman attending the council meeting. 

Another resident said residents should let city council investigate. 

"It may be unprofessional what he did, whether he intended it to be harmful or not, to be derogatory to Kelly, it doesn't matter. The thing is if it was unprofessional. 24/7 you are a law enforcement officer," he said. 

Kelly is Lewis' wife. He says complaints haven't been dealt with properly. 

"It's a matter of getting to the bottom of what is true and what isn't true," Lewis said. 

But city attorney Mel Gilbert says there's too much hearsay surrounding this issue and council needs proof and "just cause" before considering removal. 

"We are inviting people to come up with specific allegations that deal with the who and what, when, where and how. So, we can find out if it's substantial facts enough to justify whether there should be a removal or not," he said. 

Under state law, just cause includes, but is not limited to if a chief is unable to perform his duties, shows disregard for the safety of the public, acts to further his own interests and not his department, has violated any law that constitutes a felony.

"As a member of this community, we have the right to demand higher standards of our police officers and city officials," said one man speaking to the city council. 

Council now awaits proof and formal complaints before they can move forward. 

Alderman John Scott encouraged people to keep voicing their opinions. 

"Who polices the police? The people do. The people also police the mayor and the actions of the city, don't stop doing that, " he said. 

Gann became chief in Urbana in  October of 2016. 

In June of  2015, Gann was terminated from the Buffalo Police Department where he was a patrolman. 

The Buffalo Reflex reported at the time it was after he allegedly broke into the Dallas county 911 building with a pocket knife. He was not charged. 

KOLR10 left messages with the Urbana Police Department. Our calls have not been returned. 

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