Bruce Mills didn’t waste a lot of time while serving as interim police chief of Jonestown this spring. In the two months he acted as a fill-in while this lakeside town 30 miles northwest of Austin sought a permanent chief, Mills moved to fire two of the town’s seven-member police force.
As a former top Austin police official, Mills was familiar with one of the officers he dismissed. Yvonne Gunnlaugsson had been suspended several times from the Austin Police Department before retiring under a cloud in 2005, public records show. She’d come to work for Jonestown a short time later.
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Why it matters
After reports that some Jonestown police officers were hired despite past misconduct, investigative reporters Eric Dexheimer and Tony Plohetski wanted to know why. They found that it’s harder to revoke a peace officer’s license than that of a teacher or a nurse, and that some police officials are less than truthful when filing paperwork designed to prevent police with poor work histories from moving from job to job.