Newly elected Parma Mayor Tyus Byrd, 40, said she is still learning the workings of the former administration after only two weeks on the job. (Photo Credit: J.B. Forbes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Polaris)

Employees of one small Missouri town had an extreme reaction when residents elected their first Black female mayor: 80% of the police department quit, along with the city clerk and two other staffers.

Tyrus Byrd, a former Parma, MO city council member, was sworn into office as mayor last week, but she will have to deal with a police force with only one person. Five of the town’s six police officers submitted letters of resignation last week, citing only “safety concerns,” according to news station KFVS.

No one knows yet exactly what “safety concerns” would make a town’s public safety officers quit en masse, but Byrd has said she is still determined to clean up the city. To make the mass resignations even more suspicious, KFVS also reported that when Byrd started her first day, the officers’ resignation letters could not be found, and that computers had been wiped clean.

Byrd won a close election against longtime Mayor Randall Ramsey, who held the office for 37 years. The population of Parma is slightly more than 700 people, and Byrd won by less than 40 votes. The city attorney, clerk, and waste water treatment supervisor also resigned with the police officers.

(via Refinery 29)

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