Dalton Police Department Disciplines 2 Officers For Swearing During School Bus Incident

Monday, December 02, 2013

The Dalton Police Department has disciplined two officers after an investigation into their use of inappropriate language during a Nov. 11 incident on a school bus.  The investigation came after a complaint from a parent of a student on the bus.

Dalton officers John Gurrieri and Steven Collins were dispatched to meet school bus #3 carrying students from Dalton Middle School on Nov. 11 at 3:15 p.m. after a school bus dispatcher called 911 at the bus driver’s request to complain that the students were being unruly and creating unsafe conditions on the bus.  Officer Gurrieri, who has been with the department for a year, addressed the students on the bus to tell them to behave.  During this speech, Officer Gurrieri used a swear word four times, it was stated.  Officer Collins, a seven-year veteran of the agency, spoke to one student outside of the bus and also used one swear word while talking to the student, a report said.

The police department received a complaint about the incident from a citizen that evening and investigated.  The department’s internal investigation "found that the officers did use inappropriate language that is inconsistent with the department’s mission.  After completing an investigation into the incident, the officers were both suspended for two days without pay and have been assigned to complete 40 hours of volunteer community service in support of youth programs in Dalton.  They will also receive a written reprimand and additional training on verbal communication."   

Chief Jason Parker said, “I was very disappointed to hear about this incident. This type of behavior is not acceptable, and is out of line with department and community standards.”

“We do not normally publish personnel actions,” Chief Parker continued. “But after discussing it with the officers, and considering the circumstances, it seemed appropriate to inform the community about what happened and what actions we have taken.” 



Corker Welcomes Action On Adoption Of Congolese Children

Senator Bob Corker on Friday said he welcomed passage of S. Res. 502, a Senate resolution concerning the suspension of exit permit issuance by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for adopted Congolese children seeking to depart the country with their adoptive parents.  “I’ve had the opportunity to hear first-hand the stories of many Tennessee families who are stuck in ... (click for more)

Wamp Campaign Critical Of Fleischmann PAC Funds

The Weston Wamp campaign said Friday that incumbent Congressman Chuck Fleischmann raised $30,000 in two days from special interest political action committees (PACs) "to continue to fund his negative campaign. That pushes the incumbent’s campaign past the $550,000 mark in PAC money for the election cycle." The Wamp campaign said Rep. Fleischmann "also raised eight individual ... (click for more)

A Tennessee Transplant's Thoughts On Age And Politics - And Response

I have read several opinions favoring the job performance of Representative Fleischmann as well the apparent disdain that they have for his challenger and his age.  I must disclose that unfortunately, I am unable to cast a vote in the 3rd District Republican primary.  I will however always be a Chattanoogan.  As a result, I feel more engaged in East Tennessee politics ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Orchids And Onions

With record low temperatures being recorded around the South, I didn’t know what I’d find in my garden on the first day of August but – sure enough -- there is a profusion of orchids and onions. The start of college football will be later this month and, with the chilly mornings, fall practice is a far cry from what it will be when the sweltering heat comes back next week. Here’s ... (click for more)

Live Viewing Party Of The National Championship Offered At First Tennessee Pavilion

Chattanooga Football Club fans will get one more chance to gather and cheer on the team as it battles for the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) National Championship powered by Mitre.  On Saturday, from 7-11:30 p.m. at the First Tennessee Pavilion, Big River Brewing Company, Volkswagen Chattanooga, Memorial, Finley Stadium, and EPB Fiber Optics are hosting ... (click for more)

Larry Fleming: Phil Schmidt Made Life Better For Those That Knew Him

The sad news came Thursday morning in a phone call from Jill Bowling, the daughter of Phil Schmidt, longtime photographer at The Chattanooga Times – for years he served as chief of the department – had passed away minutes earlier at TriStar-Centennial Hospital in Nashville. Through Jill’s tears she said, “Daddy died this morning.” It was a phone call I didn’t want to get and ... (click for more)