The former chief of police for the Ridgetop (TN) Police Department says that the action by the town political leaders to dissolve the department due to budget constraints only tells half the story.

According to the Tennessean, Chief Bryan Morris says the move was retaliatory.

He had reportedly opened a criminal investigation a year ago into the three men who later voted to fold the department.

Morris says city leaders told him the six-member department was $50,000 in the hole because it had only generated around $250,000 in revenue from traffic tickets, short of the $300,000 that was budgeted.

Chief Morris said, "That's a crazy amount of tickets. There's never been a time we've ever in the history of this department hit $300,000."

Ticket quotas are illegal in Tennessee.

Morris pushed back on town officials, and tensions between the town's elected leaders and the department began to rise.

Morris reportedly struggled with" going public" with the demanded ticket quota, telling the Tennessean that he "knew " his action would make Ridgetop the "last place" he'd ever work" as a law enforcement officer.

He said, "Nobody else is gonna hire me after this."

Morris added, "I'm OK with that. I can do other things."

 

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