- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2016

SPARTA, Mo. (AP) - A small Christian County town whose three police officers all resigned in December has decided to revive its police department.

Sparta city officials decided Thursday to hire a new police chief, rather than contract with the Christian County Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement.

The Springfield News-Leader reports (http://sgfnow.co/1TUM7Rx ) Mayor Pro Tem Stephen Otten said it would be too expensive to pay the sheriff’s department to patrol the town.

The city has received about 10 to 15 applications and expects to hire a chief by next week.

Someone broke into the city’s empty police station in February and stole guns, uniforms and ammunition.

The police department resignations came after former chief Andrew Spencer was criticized for shooting and killing a caged pit bull because he couldn’t find a shelter for it.

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com

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