Nearly every police officer for a small north Texas city was terminated from the payroll during a council meeting Saturday.
Mayor pro tem Tonya Ratcliff also said officers were expected to conduct themselves in a professional, open and honest manner, and councilmembers acted because those responsibilities were not being met.
Despite citing budget issues as a factor in the decision, Ratcliff could not provide specific information Saturday as to how much money the city would save when questioned by reporters.
“The town needs a police department that they can depend on and trust, and that’s what were working towards,” Ratcliff told reporters after the meeting.
“So, you said the officers did nothing wrong, but now you're saying they are someone you can not trust?” one reporter asked.
“No,” Ratcliff responded, “there is two different sets of police officers that we are talking about."
“So the ones that were let go you said they didn’t do anything wrong,” the reporter continued.
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Ratcliff remarked quickly, “I said the reserve force. Thank you, that’s all I have.”
She abruptly ended the question and answer session and walked away from the reporters.
The department has been without a police chief, but Combine is looking for a replacement.
In the meantime, city leaders have called upon the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office to patrol the city.
The sheriff’s office has no concerns about picking up patrols in the small town, public information officer Pat Laney said Sunday.
Laney said it’s common for smaller cities to have problems with police funding.