CROYDON — Croydon Police Chief Richard Lee made a dramatic exit from his job Tuesday night when the Croydon Board of Selectmen voted to dissolve its one-man police force that Lee has headed for approximately 20 years.
Lee was not only without a job, he was minus the uniform he had on at the start of the meeting.
According to a spectator at the meeting, when Lee was informed he was no longer the town’s chief because the department had been disbanded, he was told to hand over his equipment including his gun and the keys to the Croydon police cruiser.
But Lee didn’t stop with his gun and car keys. He quickly took off his uniform before heading out the door in his boots and underwear and started walking south along Route 10 toward Newport where he lives.
Lee told a reporter he was informed to turn in his uniform immediately.
That comment was questioned by a spectator attending the meeting who said Lee was informed he could turn in his uniform later.
A Croydon resident said she spotted Lee walking down the road and when she looked again he was gone. “He must have been picked up by someone” the resident revealed.
Attempts to contact selectman Russell Edwards along with Lee on Wednesday for comments were unsuccessful.
“What we get for what we pay for,” is the ongoing problem in Croydon, another spectator at the Tuesday meeting said when contacted Wednesday. “It was voted both ways last year. There’s a lot of tension out there on both sides,”
At a 2019 Special Croydon Town Meeting voters decided to retain their police department after voting earlier to disband it.