The Orange Cove City council says they support the police. Many residents aren't convinced.
A rally was held outside city hall Wednesday afternoon. At least 50 people showed signs and chanted their support for the department and Chief Frank Steenport.
A volunteer police organization called "Citizens on Patrol" orchestrated the event. The president of the organization said the city council tried to dissolve the volunteer group but could not.
An entirely new city council took office in December. Many of the new faces are familiar.
Former Mayor Victor Lopez led the effort to overthrow the previous council. In 1989, he dissolved the police department.
Many people are concerned he'll try to do it again. Eliminating take home cars for police, not replacing departing officers, and cutting the department's budget are all offered as evidence.
Lopez and the rest of the council have repeatedly stated that they support the police department but may seek reforms. City Manager Sam Escobar echoes the sentiment, but concedes the city is in financial trouble and cuts may be necessary.