Friday, August 15 2014, 09:38 PM EDT
Chattanooga Police Add 'Safeguards' After Officer Found Driving on Suspended License
It was recently revealed that a Chattanooga police officer was driving on a suspended driver's license. As a result of that revelation, the department has implemented what it calls "additional safeguards to ensure employee accountability," according to a news release issued by the department Friday.
According to the release, the Terminal Agency Coordinator (TAC) will conduct an annual audit of every CPD employee driver's license status and will check each employee for outstanding warrants. This will take place 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 case that started it all was first discovered several months ago when CPD discovered, during the course of an unrelated investigation, that an officer was driving on a suspended driver's license. Subsequent investigation revealed the officer's license had been suspended due to issues surrounding child support payments.
The officer was immediately taken off the road. The officer said he didn't even know his license had been suspended by the state until the department brought it to his attention. He followed up with child support services, followed the proper procedures and his driver's license has since been reinstated.
The department said today that the officer did not receive a citation or any other discipline in this matter and they consider that case 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."