published Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Chattanooga Police Department changes employee license policy

The Chattanooga Police Department will start annually checking all employees for outstanding warrants and the status of their driver's licenses after discovering that one patrol officer was driving on a suspended driver's license.

The new policy will set up the checks every year in the month before each employee's birthday, according to the department. If the checks reveal that any employee is out of compliance with department policy or state law, the employee's supervisor will be notified so the situation can be corrected, according to the police department.

The officer who prompted the new policy was unaware that his license had been suspended because of child support issues, according to a release. As soon as the department realized his license was suspended, he was immediately prevented from driving his patrol car until his license was reinstated.

Chief Fred Fletcher said he's glad the issue was resolved and expects the new policy will prevent future problems.

"While it is rare, it is recognized that such instances may occur in a large organization," he said. "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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