City Police Say Increased Safeguards Lead To Employee Accountability

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Chattanooga Police Department announced Friday the recent implementation of additional safeguards to ensure employee accountability. 

Officials said the Terminal Agency Coordinator will conduct an annual audit of CPD employee driver’s license status and will check each employee for outstanding warrants. This will be conducted in the month preceding the employee’s birthday. Supervisors will be notified of any employees out of compliance with department policy or state law. The supervisors will then work with the employees to ensure any concerns are addressed.

“It is important we have the correct safeguards in place to hold our department accountable,” said Chief of Police Fred Fletcher. “I am proud my staff was able to not only identify a problem, but we were able to present an equitable solution for the future.”

The increased safeguards were put into place after a recent incident involving a CPD officer driver’s license status. Several months ago the CPD discovered, during the course of an unrelated investigation, that an officer was driving on a suspended driver’s license. A subsequent investigation determined the cause of the suspension was due to issues surrounding child support payments. At that time, the officer was immediately prevented from operating his police vehicle until the issue was resolved and his driver’s license reinstated. The officer stated he was unaware of the suspension of his driver’s license until the department brought it to his attention and he immediately followed up with Maximus (Child Support Services). The officer followed the steps outlined by Maximus and his driver’s license has since been reinstated.

Officials said, "This issue was handled by the officer’s supervisor. The officer did not receive a citation or any other discipline in this matter. This case is closed."

“While it is rare, it is recognized that such instances may occur in a large organization,” said Chief Fletcher. “It is the intent of this new policy to create a system of accountability that actively seeks to ensure officers comply with law and policy and quickly identifies the rare exceptions when they do not. When officers fail to comply with law or policy, those deviations will be addressed immediately.”

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