Scandals make headlines, but rarely serve as a death sentence for agencies or departments. In North Carolina, however, the arrest of three police officers may prove deadly for the city’s cash-strapped police department.

The officers, as well as three others, were arrested in October stemming from charges of bribery and extortion. In the ensuing months, however, a debate has emerged over the value of keeping the disgraced department that once had as many as 15 officers before budget cuts brought the force to 11. Including the arrests of the three officers and the resignation of the police chief, the department is down to 7 officers for the community of 5,700 people.

While the full details remain partially hidden, but two of the three officers have admitted to taking payments from criminals in exchange for allowing stolen goods to pass through the town about 40 miles outside of Charlotte. Those indicted are accused of taking a combined $17,000 to allow a truckload of stolen merchandise to pass with immunity.

Read the full story at the San Francisco Chronicle.