The city council in Monticello, Utah, unanimously voted to fire its police chief Jan. 12 for mishandling a 911 call from a sergeant’s estranged wife trying to report him.
The woman called police on Dec. 2 after her ex-husband -- 36-year-old Cole Young -- allegedly broke into her home, attacked her male friend, and drove while inebriated, reports KUTV.
While a dispatcher promised an officer would be sent over, nobody responded until the next day.
After other police officers declined to visit the home, the dispatcher reportedly called former Police Chief Kent Adair and laughed about the situation with him.
They decided to send in somebody the next day. Meanwhile, the terrified estranged wife and her friend hid in the mountains when police failed to respond.
The following morning, a San Juan County Sheriff's Department officer investigated the case and arrested Young. Young was later charged with a felony count for the burglary and misdemeanor for the assault, and was recently fired.
The city council explains Adair's termination wasn’t just related to this incident.
"We've had problems with calls," said Monticello Councilman George Rice. "It's just been kind of a pattern that's happened."
"I think it was just a sentiment that the council is ready to start over the police department here in Monticello," added Mayor Tim Young.
By firing Adair, the city council also hopes to heal the public perception of the police department.
"What I would like to see is someone with some leadership, someone that will give the residents of this town the law enforcement that they expect and deserve," explained Rice.
Despite the eagerness to start anew by firing Adair, who had worked for the police department for 30 years, the council members say it was not an easy decision.
"Many of us have personal relationships with Chief Adair," the mayor said. "I consider him a close friend of mine."
"I think the world of him. I enjoyed the time I had to work with him," Monticello City Manager Ty Bailey said, reports KSL.
"It is really difficult. I don't think there's any winners in this scenario so far," Bailey added. "Everybody recognizes we can do better. That's kind of the road we're on."