Forced to Evict, Cop Becomes 'Grim Reaper'

In his 38 years in law enforcement, constable John Cullins proudly has put thousands of criminals behind bars, but today he is devastated to be putting homeowners out on the street.

"You don't know what it is like to have people call you crying, pleading, begging to give you more time and I can't do that," Cullins told ABC News.

Once homeowners can no longer make their mortgage payments and the banks take possession, the courts then order Cullins to evict the residents. These days he is evicting more than half-a-dozen families a week in his county of Rockwall, Texas.

"I always tell people a house doesn't make a home," he said.


When residents refuse to leave, Cullins has to take a tough tone. ABC News followed him on one such eviction.

"Get ready to live out of your suitcase and we are going to start getting your stuff out," Cullins told the visibly heartbroken family.

To his dismay, the Dallas media now refer to Cullins as "the grim reaper," when he is just doing his job.

"To do what I am doing you got to be part social worker, part psychiatrist and part preacher," he said.

Though he and his staff say they try to be as compassionate as possible, losing a home is tragic and Cullins just tries to keep each situation from exploding.


"If I go to that door to somebody that is stressed out and I act like a big, mean cop, then it is going to have the same effect as putting out a campfire with a bucket of gas -- both of them is going to blow up in your face and it might be hard to work out," he said.