MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. ‒ Mount Vernon residents want answers as to why former Police Commissioner Carl Bell was fired.
Glenston Clarke, whose son was murdered in Mount Vernon a couple of years ago, said he has made several inquiries into Bell's firing but has not received an answer. He said that if Bell had been allowed to do his job properly, he would not have been fired.
"He was concerned about the young people in the city," Clarke said. "Mount Vernon is a small town that a small number of people think they own."
Nazarene Duncan said Bell sat down with her after her children were almost killed. She said Bell did an "exceptional" job as police commissioner, including putting away the people responsible for the attempt on her children's lives.
"He was the best and did as much as he could to help the city," Duncan said. "Crime went down. There is no justifiable reason to fire him. We still haven't heard the reason why he was fired."
Kenneth Chamberlain Jr., whose father was shot and killed in 2011 by White Plains police officers, said Bell was the only law enforcement official in Westchester County who asked for a further investigation into his father's death.
"He understood that the law is above everyone," Chamberlain said. "He also understood that to do his job properly he had to clean out his own department first."
Community Leader William Ewell said Bell had the courage to reprimand officers in the department who needed to be reprimanded.
"Many people in the community appreciate what he has done," Ewell said. "I hope when the next commissioner is appointed that they represent the residents of the city."
Bell had served as police commissioner since 2010.