LYONS, Ill. (CBS) — Cuts to the police department in suburban Lyons are not sitting well with some residents. Now there are claims somebody’s stealing signs that support fired officers.

The alleged yard sign thefts come after the village laid off seven police officers, a full third of the force.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports police protection was a hot- button issue at a board meeting Wednesday night as the ugly bitter power struggle between the Fraternal Order of Police and the Village of Lyons drags on. Now there is a new wrinkle, allegations of political dirty tricks.

Some 100 police union members and supporters of the seven laid off cops joined forces to make their case at the meeting Wednesday.

“We’re safe because we’ve had a strong police force,” said Lyons resident William Ruting.

Since the layoffs of the seven officers in early April the Lyons force is now down to 11.

“They cut out the investigative unit, so if a crime is committed, there is no detective unit to investigate to follow up on any crime that’s committed,” said Linda Ortiz.

Residents who have those worries have put out scores of yard signs in the past few weeks, but some have disappeared.

“Someone stole them. Middle of the night, creeped up on my house and stole my yard signs,” said Joe Melone. “I am pretty sure what the village is going to say is that the Fraternal Order of Police orchestrated this.”

“We woke up the next morning to find that the sign and been taken along with everybody else’s on our block,” said Barbara Holda.

The union says as they handed out those yard signs they were followed by two village officials. No comment from the mayor about those alleged thefts.