Canton police chief resigns; mayor to take over administrative duties

Posted: Jul. 23, 2014 3:28 pm Updated: Aug. 6, 2014 4:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

CANTON, Mo. --Canton is without a police chief after Hayes Shelley tendered his resignation, effective Tuesday. Shelley would not say whether the resignation was forced or if it was done on his own accord.

"I turned in my resignation on Monday night. That's all I have to say," Shelley said Wednesday morning.

Canton Mayor Jarrod Phillips confirmed that Shelley was no longer the top law enforcement officer in the Lewis County city of 2,557 that rests along the banks of the Mississippi River.

"Right now, we have two officers who are still doing regular patrols," Phillips said. "I'm going to temporarily take over the administrative duties of the department. Everything is continuing on. We're looking to fill some vacancies in the future."

Phillips said the city would being a search immediately for Shelley's replacement.

"We would like to get someone with experience and a proven track record of leading a small-town department," he said.

Phillips said Canton residents should see no disruption in service during the search for a new chief. He said the city has coverage agreements with the LaGrange Police Department and the Lewis County Sheriff's Department.

Shelley, 41, had been with the department since January 2010 and became chief in May 2011.

Shelley took over after his predecessor, William Hudnall, resigned after being indicted on federal firearms charges involving the purchase of a firearm at the Flower Mill and Trading Post in Canton. Hudnall pleaded guilty to one felony count of making a false statement to a federal firearms dealer and was sentenced to 36 months probation Nov. 1, 2011.