A police officer was fired and told to immediately turn in his uniform at a town meeting, so he stripped down to his underwear and walked home in the snow, Business Insider

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  • The Police Chief in Croydon, New Hampshire, was fired Tuesday night and ordered to turn over his uniform.
  • Doing so, he had to walk home in a snowstorm wearing only his underwear.
  • The police chief, Richard Lee, was the only officer working for the department.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Richard Lee, the police chief of Croydon, New Hampshire, had a cold walk home Tuesday night.

At a town hall meeting that evening, Lee was stripped of his duties as the only police officer in Croydon. In turn, he stripped down to his underwear so that he could return his uniform, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

“I was told that I had to turn over the keys to the cruiser and my uniform immediately. I had no other means of transportation, as the cruiser is a take-home vehicle, and I have no spare clothes in the office, so I did as ordered,” Lee told the Union Leader on Wednesday.

Lee said he started walking toward his home during a snowstorm wearing boots, a hat and his underwear, the Union Leader reported. His wife then picked him up along the route.

Lee was employed by the town of 700 for about 20 years and was its prosecutor and only police officer. At the time, Lee said he wanted to leave the job on his own terms.

“I’ll quit when I’m escorted out of the building,” he told the Union Leader in May 2019.

It is unclear whether criminal cases can be followed through in his absence, according to the Union Leader.

Select board chairman Russell Edwards told the newspaper that the decision to eliminate the police department was an economic one.

“We didn’t feel we were getting the value for our money,” Edwards said.

Lee and board members haven’t always seen eye to eye, according to the paper.

Last year the board hired an outside firm to investigate the department and the report hasn’t been made public.

Small towns across the country have been eliminating police departments due to budget issues.

In New England, many rural towns have only part-time departments or no police department at all.

When residents need police assistance after hours, or there is a crash in town, the state police are often relied upon.

In 2018, Blandford, Massachusetts, a town of 1,200 residents, made national news when its entire police department resigned in one day. The department was made up of only four officers.

“Nothing has changed from before,” town administrator Joshua Garcia told the Berkshire Eagle at the time. “The state troopers at the Russell barracks respond to 90 percent of calls.”



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