Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 2, 2022

City, police employee groups agree on truthfulness process

Mayor Tim Kelly, Police Chief Celeste Murphy and employee representative groups have reached a resolution to review the assignments of all Chattanooga Police Department officers who have sustained allegations of being less than truthful.

As part of the review process, each affected officer’s assignment will be evaluated by an internal committee made up of sworn officers of diverse ranks and roles.

The evaluation criteria are being finalized in partnership with employee groups and are expected to include the age of the violation, the severity of the violation, the disciplinary record since the violation and the circumstances of the violation.

Once an evaluation is complete, the review committee will issue a recommendation to Murphy with one of three possible outcomes for the affected officer: permanent reassignment to a non-enforcement role; restoration of responsibilities with special accommodations (for example, requiring the officer to wear a body camera at additional times or to team with an additional officer during patrol); and restoration of full responsibilities without special accommodations.

Review committee members are still being finalized. The final decision on the outcome for the affected officer will rest with Murphy.

This process will apply to all sworn officers who have had a sustained internal policy violation of being less than truthful before Aug. 16 – 15 officers.

All affected officers previously faced discipline for the internal policy violations at the time those allegations were sustained. As of Aug. 17, any untruthfulness violation that’s sustained will result in immediate termination.

“This is not a decision I made lightly, and I know these changes have been impactful to our department, which is why collaborating to find meaningful resolutions is important,” says Murphy. “I’m dedicated to upholding the department’s integrity in the eyes of the public, our courts and the brave men and women who selflessly serve their community.”

Source: City of Chattanooga