Why This Texas Town Eliminated Their Police Force

police badge coffee city
Via ketk
Tremain Prioleau II
November 2, 2023

Coffee City council voted on September 11th to deactivate its police force and fire police chief JohnJay Portillo after misconduct allegations against the department began to surface.

The department wrote more than 5,000 citations amassing over $1 million in tickets from a city population of just 250 people. That’s a lot of money from such a small pool of residents which begs the question: was this about exploiting money or public safety?

The city employed five times the amount of police officers typically staffed for a city of its size. More than 50 cops were on payroll. It’s a disturbing ratio of one officer for every five residents. Many officers reportedly were hired from other places where they were fired for misconduct. Coffee City was essentially an exploitative police state.

According to the Coffee City Mayor, Jeff Blackstone, this move isn’t truly the end of policing for the city. “We just felt it was in the best interest of us to deactivate the department until we are able to get new leadership,” said the mayor.

Coffee City police exploited the citizens they were meant to protect, eroding local trust in the department. Replacing them with a new department could just continue the cycle. What if this town of 250 residents rejected the policing altogether and took care of themselves instead?

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