James Breletic is out as the chief law enforcement officer in the City of Guyton. That news comes Monday after an announcement made on social media by a city councilman.
Councilman Jeremiah Chancey said Monday that the departure prompted the appointment of Lieutenant Joseph Coppola as interim police chief while the city searches for a new chief. The resignation of Breletic was effective January 20, 2024.
The departure follows the swearing in of a new mayor and city council in early January and a laundry list of bad acts and dishonest deeds during Breletic’s tenure as police chief in Guyton. Breletic was first tapped for the job back in March of 2020 under the previous administration. He’d recently left the City of Lake Park in south Georgia, where he had been terminated from his job.
While in Guyton, he made headlines for inflating the calls for service by Guyton PD, misleading the public about whether or not the police department was actually a 24/7 agency, and routinely providing a slow response time to citizens, most notably to a murder in June 2022.
He also attempted to use the city attorney to intimidate TheGeorgiaVirtue into halting reporting on the police department in April 2022, citing ‘defamation’ of the agency when his statements were publicly fact-checked.
During the election cycle in 2023, Breletic used the Effingham Herald as an outlet to justify the slow response time to a 911 call that was reported as a ‘home invasion’ with a deceased woman found on scene. The cause of death was later determined to be natural causes, which Breletic used to offset the criticism of his agency’s 37-minute response time to the call in general. No one was working at the time of the incident.