The Overbrook City Council decided to strip the town of its entire police force Wednesday night.
Longtime Police Chief Ed Harmison, Assistant Chief Everette Dannar and five part-time officers were not reappointed, Mayor Jack Young said. The town's officers are eligible for reappointment annually.
Young wouldn't comment on the council's decision.
Osage County Undersheriff Jeff Johnson said Young called county dispatchers Thursday morning to inform them that Overbrook would be without a police force.
Johnson said the sheriff's office is obligated to provide service to the city, but there may be a longer response time if any of the town's 947 residents need help. That's because deputies are based 19 miles away in Lyndon and could be responding to calls elsewhere in the county.
"We'll do what we have to do to protect the citizens," Johnson said.
Young said there are no immediate plans to replace the force, adding that the town will depend on the sheriff department's services on a trial basis.
"That's kind of a scary thought, not to have police officers close," said lifelong Overbrook resident Rachael Strohm. "In the case of an emergency, you would want people to be able to respond quickly."
Overbrook, which has as the community motto "Don't Overlook Overbrook," is about 25 miles southwest of Lawrence on U.S. Highway 56.
Two Overbrook police cars sat in front of City Hall on Thursday.
Dannar's badge and a gun lay in the passenger's seat of one of the cars.
The police chief wasn't available for comment Thursday. None of the city's five council members returned calls for comment.