A Murfreesboro fire captain, who was placed on paid administrative leave after a "brown substance" fell out of his locker during an internal drug investigation, has been reinstated.
Fire Captain Theodore Pertiller was hand delivered a letter from Chief Cumbey Gaines letting him know he had been taken off administrative leave status effective immediately. He will report to work at Fire Station No. 3 Friday.
Last Sunday, officials say two marijuana cigarette butts were found at the fire hall. One was behind a fire truck inside the building, while the other one was sitting on a half-eaten Oreo cookie in the employee's parking lot.
It hasn't been determined to whom they belonged.
Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue officials launched an internal investigation, and during a locker check, a small brown object fell from the Captain Pertiller's locker. It was field tested by Murfreesboro police for opiates, but the test was negative.
The brown substance was then sent to the TBI for further testing, and those results have not yet come back.
Fire Station No. 3 sits right in front of Hobgood Elementary School, in a drug-free zone. That has some nearby neighbors concerned.
"Kids look up to firefighters, especially in this neighborhood," neighbor Michael Rowland said. "I think our school system has a hard enough time as it is minimizing exposure and protecting our kids from drugs and alcohol."
Fire officials confirmed as part of the internal investigation, all employees at Fire Station No. 3 were given a drug test.
Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue officials sent out a press release about the incident. Assistant Fire Chief and spokesman Allen Swader said the city of Murfreesboro is proud of having a drug-free workplace with a "zero tolerance" standard.
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