Talk About Defunding the Police

Matthew G. Saroff
2 min readSep 14, 2023

The Coffee City, Texas city council has fired its police chief and shut down its police department.

You may recall the story, a town of less than 250 had 50 cops in its department.

The bulk of the officers never ever went to the town, they were operating out of their home offices collecting debts from traffic tickets and suchlike.

What seems to be the important point from all of this (quoting myself) is this, “That specific group of remote workers have been let go now that they are getting press coverage, and the chief has admitted that they were on the books as full time to allow them to work as security officers.”

You can make serious bank as a private security officer in Texas, something like $80K a year for real cops who don’t do the work full time.

For the corrupt cops that now-former chief JohnJay Portillo hired, most of them had been fired, demoted or otherwise disciplined by other police forces, the do nothing job that they were hired to do allowed them to make a good living in private security.

Selling badges in this this manner is not unknown, nor is it limited to Texas.

It could be bribes upfront, it could be kickbacks, but something corrupt is going on:

City Council members in Coffee City unanimously voted Monday to fire Chief of Police JohnJay Portillo and to deactivate the entire department until a new chief can be hired.

A series of reports done by KHOU 11 Investigative Reporter Jeremy Rogalski led to a deeper look into the Coffee City Police Department and Portillo himself.

The City Council took less than 15 minutes to reach its decision. It means the town of 250 people that once had 50 police officers on the force now has none.

The Coffee City Police have been defunded.

KHOU 11 Investigates discovered that in a city of almost 250 people, there were 50 police officers. That’s five times the number of cops than any town its size, according to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement records. More than half of the department’s 50 officers had been suspended, demoted, terminated or dishonorably discharged from their previous law enforcement jobs, according to personnel files obtained through open records requests to other law enforcement agencies. Most of the officers were hired by Portillo.

………

Portillo had tried to email his resignation before the meeting, but council members refused to accept the unsigned notice and instead outright fired the police chief.

I’m pretty sure that someone in investigating this matter had a chat with the city council, and explained what was going on.

Here’s hoping that the chief, and his co-conspirators, spend a significant amount of time in a Texas prison.

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