In another tale of woe involving a small-town police chief, Chief Paul West, the last officer working in the Coopertown, Tn., Police Department, quit yesterday, The Tennessean reports. He blamed his sudden resignation on the recent media scrutiny of the department, which has seen one officer fired after a road rage incident and the city's reserve officer program terminated after an officer was caught on video using racial slurs. “West resigned due to predatory reporting and the consequences of the predatory reporting on his family,” said Mayor Sam Childs.
The city of just over 4,000 people 30 miles northwest of Nashville will be patrolled by the Robertson County Sheriff's Office until the town can staff the police department. Its problems go back more than a decade with allegations of mismanagement, racism, and poor decision-making. It has had at least 10 police chiefs in 11 years. At one point, the department ballooned to nearly 20 officers. Over the past several years, the city has been sued at least five times for unlawful termination of police employees. Three settled for an undisclosed amount of money, one case was dismissed, and another cost taxpayers $90,000 after a jury verdict.