After a Franklin police officer was allegedly found drunk and unconscious behind the wheel, the chief of police says he has concerns about how the case was handled.
Officer Brent Rose was off-duty at the time, but his boss says the behavior still won't be tolerated.
And it turns out the Franklin policeman has been disciplined for drinking and then driving while off duty before. This time, however, he was never arrested or charged with DUI, and Police Chief David Rahinsky says that will not happen again.
According to documents from an internal investigation conducted by the Franklin Police Department, Rose went out drinking Nov. 2 at Loser's Bar off Carothers Parkway, then drove to Tin Roof Two and had more drinks. Before he left the parking lot, a fellow officer found him passed out behind the wheel.
He never even made it onto the street.
The issue now is that Rose was never arrested or charged with DUI. Instead, his fellow officer asked him to call a friend to take him home.
The chief found out the next morning.
"I was disappointed in the decision that was made, but what we did do is suspend him immediately, place him on administrative leave. We initiated an internal investigation," Rahinsky said.
Inside the car that night, the report says, another officer found what she believed to be a 32-ounce tumbler of Jack Daniel whiskey and Coca-Cola. The report says Rose was unstable and had slurred speech, and he fell face-first in shrubbery when he tried to stand up as his ride home arrived.
"Officers enjoy a level of discretion not just here in Franklin but across the country. Having said that, this was a poor decision. We did what we could to fix it after the fact. We took the strongest steps short of termination," Rahinsky said.
The officers reported they did not like the position they were placed in with their coworker and said if it had been any other person, they would have been arrested.
"I want the community to know we're not in the business of policing ourselves. If we make a mistake, we're held accountable," Rahinsky said.
In 2005, Rose was placed on a six-month probation and ordered to complete an alcohol treatment program after the department discovered he was in a car accident after drinking alcohol but didn't report it. He was off-duty at the time of that incident as well.
Following the November 2013 incident, Rose has been removed as a DUI patrol officer and suspended five days without pay.
He also signed a last-chance agreement, meaning if there are any other issues, he will be fired immediately.
"It's our hope and wishes that Officer Rose works hard to regain the trust of his co-workers and regains the trust of his community," Rahinsky said. "He needs to get some support and some help to make sure that he doesn't put himself, the community or this department in a situation like that ever again."
Rahinsky added that in the future, Franklin police officers will not handle cases such as this involving co-workers. Instead, they will call an outside agency such as the Tennessee Highway Patrol or Williamson County Sheriff's Office.
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Monday, September 1 2014 6:04 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:04:35 GMT
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