Algood sergeant terminated, community pushes to bring her back - WSMV News 4

Algood sergeant terminated, community pushes to bring her back

Posted: Updated: Nov 05, 2015 07:38 PM
ALGOOD, TN (WSMV) -

Algood public information officer, Sgt. Dana Looper, was terminated last week for what the chief is calling "insubordination." Now, a group of supporters are hoping to get Looper back on the force through an effort they call "Team Dana."

"Dana is an asset to our community," said Algood parent Wendy Apple. "She is a light and a flower."

Through picking up her 8-year-old daughter, Jillian, from Algood Elementary, Apple said Looper had become as familiar a sight in the school zone as anything else. 

"You always get a smile and a thumbs up from Dana," she said.

Apple said something's now missing on those school trips since Looper was terminated.

"I was absolutely floored," Apple said. "The first reaction I got from my children was tears. They were absolutely heartbroken." 

Apple said she witnessed firsthand Looper's special ability to connect with anyone after a meeting between Looper and a five-year-old foster child afraid of police. 

"He even decided he was going to be a police officer when he got big," she said.

"I think if they knew exactly what happened they would understand too," said Chief Gary Harris of the Algood Police Department.

Harris declined to say why Looper was terminated, claiming he didn't want to share details out of respect to Looper.

"I felt like I had no other choice," said Harris. "It was the hardest decision that I think I ever made because I do have a lot of respect for Sgt. Looper, and she did do a good job. Obviously, it's not the popular decision either."

Looper declined to comment on the firing citing advice from her attorney, but she said in a Facebook post she's considering going through the city appeals process. 

"It would take something really devastating to outweigh all the good she's done," said Apple.

Driving in what she calls the 'Danamobile', Apple's part of a group of supporters who have held signs in front of city hall and posted videos in support of Looper getting thousands of views. She said her daughter feels safe knowing Looper's doing school duty. Apple said she wants to put a familiar smiling face and thumbs up back in the school zone. 

"We're going to have her back," she said.

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