53 / 22
      55 / 26
      56 / 28

      Citizens rally to support dismissed police chief

      Many people in the city of Fritch have come together to make noise at City Hall in hopes of getting answers to why Kirk Coker has been relieved of his duties.

      "This is the best Fritch has been in probably 20 years," the people said.

      But that progress, some citizens feel, may soon come to a halt since Coker is no longer the Chief of Police. But why did city officials choose to get rid of him? That is a question that is going unanswered.

      "It's wrong what they've done to him," Coker Supporter Barbara Butler said. "He is the best thing that's happened to Fritch."

      Two weeks ago, Coker was named the Fritch Area Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year. On Monday, Coker was given a letter stating that he was an "at-will termination."

      Some viewers sent Pronews 7 emails about concerns of rape allegations made against Coker in 1990 when he was working as a sheriff's deputy in Montgomery County. After some research, Pronews 7 found the 16-year-old girl who accused him came forward and admitted she was lying. Coker later went back to work for Montgomery County as a deputy constable and has been involved with law enforcement ever since.

      Coker supporters are not only angry about the termination, but also that City Manager Bobby Lamb has not given a public statement.

      "We're not here to bash any of the city officials or run them into the mud or anything," Marie Burk stated. "It's just about 'let us know what's going on' and, also, maybe reevaluate their decision to fire somebody that's cleaned up our town.

      And until that statement is given, vehicles will continue honking loudly and proudly as they drive past City Hall.

      "We'll be here as long as it takes to get our point across that we need answers, we deserve answers," Misty Hay said.

      Fritch citizens are taking advantage of every lunch break and every day off work to make their voices heard. Some of them even come in shifts to hold up signs. Unkind words coming from some at City Hall have not made the Coker supporters think twice.

      Patrolling the neighborhoods to keep drugs away, befriending the community kids and even offering to help families in need care for their children has gained Coker support and respect from the people he once protected every day.

      On Tuesday, many of the kids in the community orchestrated a march to Coker's house to show their love for him. And Coker's response to all this support could not come without tears.

      "It's overwhelming. I thank everybody. I think God's in control of it and it's all in His hands. But to everybody that stood up for me and has done what they've done, thank you from the bottom of my heart."

      City officials have yet to comment on the situation.

      Coker t-shirts are being made and the community has created the Facebook page I Support Chief Coker to rally even more supporters.