Somerset PD shrinking following chief's resignation

Chief's resignation followed by resignations of several officers

SOMERSET, Texas – The city of Somerset is left with just a handful of police officers to patrol the streets following the resignation of the city's police chief.

Several officers also submitted their resignations in the last three days -- one of them resigning at Tuesday night's City Council meeting where council members accepted Chief Gregory Reyes' resignation.

Reyes submitted his resignation to Mayor Paul Cuellar on Saturday, one day after the city posted the agenda for Tuesday's council meeting.

One of the items on the agenda was a proposed resolution "declaring a lack of confidence in the Chief of Police Gregory Reyes and removing him from office effective immediately."

Starting on Sunday and continuing through Tuesday, several of the city's volunteer reserve officers also submitted their resignations in protest of the city's treatment of Reyes.

One of those officers, former patrol Sgt. Brian Jones, spoke on behalf of his fellow officers. He said the officers didn't feel the city leaders supported the Police Department or were concerned with officer safety.

"We've been very fortunate that Chief Reyes was the intermediary between us and the city," Jones said. "With him gone we have no protection, no protection at all and it was just a matter of time before they found something to terminate all of us for."

Prior to the chief's resignation there were three paid full-time officers and 18 volunteer reserve officers.

As of Tuesday night there were just two full-time officers and six reserves remaining on the job.

"As of today, there's not enough officers to even potentially have them cover one shift," Jones said.

Cuellar countered that claim, stating there were enough officers to patrol the streets but the city would have to rely more on deputies from the Bexar County Sheriff's Office to cover the holes and respond to emergencies.

Cuellar said the city has no plans to terminate any officers and their fears of retaliation are unfounded.

When asked why he wanted to fire Reyes, Cuellar said he couldn't get into it.

"Once I start telling you what some of these things are then we get into personnel," Cuellar said. "I cannot discuss personnel items so I cannot address that."

Reyes is the latest in a growing line of chief's to depart Somerset after short stays.

The chief prior to Reyes resigned after serving for just six months. The chief before him resigned after working two-and-a-half years without pay and the chief before him was terminated.

Cuellar said he will soon post a job opening for the city's next chief.

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