MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - The clock is ticking for Moss Point Police Chief Art McClung to either resign, or be formally fired by the city.
"It's a man down situation. We have to pick ourselves up and rebuild," said Moss Point Resident Jhai Keeton.
With seven days to make a decision, the dust is settling in the Moss Point community following McClung's termination.
"Obviously it had to be some change for morale, for everybody. It needed to happen," said Moss Point resident Ann Waller.
But as the board's decision sinks in, residents are looking toward what needs to happen next as the city searches for the police department's top cop.
"To get a candidate that's actually vested in Moss Point, that knows the citizens that it's protecting and serving and to have some kind of trustworthy relationship," Keeton said.
Alderman Shirley Chambers - the sole board member to vote against terminating McClung - shared the same sentiment following the vote.
"I'm hoping that we can interview and choose someone that's good for the city of Moss Point. We got to stop going for friendship basis because 'I'm a homeboy' or because 'I've been liking you and knowing you for 50 years,'" Chambers said.
However, residents say the situation highlights a problem plaguing Moss Point that's much bigger than just the traffic stop with the police chief.
"When you talk about the trust in between the community, the municipal government, and law enforcement, there's been a huge disconnect for a long period of time," Keeton said.
Some residents say it may take a change of leadership to repair the tarnished image of the administration.
"We've got an election coming up and I think with a little young blood, we've got plenty of opportunity to become a wonderful city again," said Waller.
In the meantime, Interim Chief Brandon Ashley says with 16 years of experience on the force, he's got the police side of things under control.
Moss Point Mayor Billy Broomfield says the city will post the opening and begin the interview process for the next chief.