The City of Tea Police Department is making a lot of headlines lately after the sudden resignation of its police chief and another officer. Even with fewer officers on the streets, the city's assistant chief says nothing has really changed.
Tea is a relatively quiet place to live. The recent resignation of two members of the police force has dropped the number of officers in the town from six to four. Assistant Chief Brian Tvedt says this will have no impact on the safety of the citizens they protect.
"Currently, there is still 24-hour coverage with the police department. We're here; we're still full service. Things haven't changed. I don't think any of the residents will notice any difference because of our two officers down. It's still good," Tvedt said.
Tea residents we spoke to didn't seem too concerned about the recent news.
"I don't know if it will be much of a difference or not. Like I said, I usually see the same one driving around most of the time, so you don't really notice if there's two or three. So I guess I wouldn't really know the difference," Scott Bolte said.
Although there are fewer people and some duties have been shifted, Tvedt says business is running as usual.
"We still patrol the residential areas. I participate in the schools; I'm the school resource officer. So we're active in the schools. Part of the businesses we contact, we just go in and make ourselves known. We check businesses after hours and make sure everything is secure. It's a well secure community," Tvedt said.
This sort of reassurance affirms what residents like Bolte already believed.
"Like I said, I've never seen anything happen around here or hear much that's bad, so I feel totally safe in this town. Whether it be one cop or ten cops here, I guess it seems like a great place to live," Bolte said.
Assistant Chief Tvedt says the department will request back-up for the upcoming holidays or if any major events were to happen. Those reinforcement officers would come from the Lincoln County Sheriff's department or former officers that are still certified.