Dixmoor police chief fired for asking for more cops - FOX 32 News Chicago

Dixmoor police chief fired for `embarrassing` village by asking for more cops

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The mayor of south suburban Dixmoor said she fired the police chief after he "embarrassed" the village.

That police chief's alleged offense: asking the Cook County Sheriff's police for extra manpower last Saturday night after two Dixmoor cops had left their post without permission.

Dixmoor is a small, financially troubled south suburb that is no stranger to scandal. When Robert Fox was hired as top cop last May, he vowed to professionalize a police department that has only nine full-time officers. That ended Thursday with a letter from the mayor, informing Fox he was fired, effective immediately.

"This one particular night we had only one person working. So, we had to hold someone over. And that's when the issues started with the guys refusing to stay," Fox explains.

That's when the top cop says he called the sheriff. Robert Fox said the Cook County Sheriff's Police responded immediately, deploying five officers, including a lieutenant, to Dixmoor.

On Thursday, though, Mayor Dorothy Armstrong told FOX 32 News that call for help "was unnecessary. I feel that it was an embarrassment to the village." She said she called Sheriff Tom Dart's office Thursday to say Dixmoor needs no more assistance after deciding to hire three additional officers at an emergency meeting Wednesday night. Some strongly disagree.

"And that's what's going on out here in Dixmoor, a lot of political games being played," Dixmoor Trustee Michael Smith said Wednesday night. "And I feel that the sheriff needs to come in and to really permanently put himself in Dixmoor."

Sources told FOX 32 News that Fox was flabbergasted to discover that one village trustee treated the department as his political province when several officers defied his orders, going instead to a village trustee to get vacation time. Sources said that, when Fox tried to keep two officers at their post last Saturday, that same trustee told them they could leave.

Fox declined to discuss those allegations.

"So, all I can say is I serve at the pleasure of the mayor," Fox says, adding that he would like to stay in policing. "I mean, I want to make sure the citizens are safe in whatever community I work in."

A spokeswoman for Sheriff Dart said he was outraged by the firing of Robert Fox. She called it a "jaw-dropping development" and added that the sheriff's police have the right to patrol anywhere in Cook County and would keep an eye on Dixmoor--despite the mayor's admonition.

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