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Updated: Jan 15

Two former officers of the now-disbanded Coffee City (TX) Police Department have been indicted by a grand jury for alleged misconduct, highlighting the issue of "wandering officers" in law enforcement. Their indictments follow the firing and subsequent indictment of former Coffee City police chief JohnJay Portillo on six felony counts for allegedly lying on his job application about past legal and disciplinary issues. 


The charges against the two officers stem from a 2021 incident in Harris County involving the fraudulent use of identifying information. The investigation, led by the Harris County Precinct 3 Constable Office, revealed that Deputy Constable Kassondra Garica used her official email to send sensitive law enforcement information to fellow officer John Joslin. The information included details on human trafficking and narcotics investigations.


The case underscores the problem of officers who are repeatedly fired and then rehired by different agencies. Garica was terminated and dishonorably discharged by the Harris County Precinct 3 Constable Office in October 2021, only to be hired the same day by Joslin, who by then was serving as police chief for the Plum Grove Police Department. Joslin himself has worked for 22 police departments during his nearly thirty years in law enforcement.


Both officers later joined the Coffee City Police Department, which was shut down following an investigation into its practice of hiring officers with troubled histories. Joslin was subsequently fired as Plum Grove police chief in 2022, but was rehired last month after threatening to sue the city for wrongful termination. Following the recent indictment, Joslin’s employment is once again under review.


The case brings to light a systemic problem where law enforcement personnel, dismissed from one agency, are rehired by another. It underscores the need for more stringent oversight in the hiring practices of police departments.

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