Four Chattanooga police officers are off the job after internal investigations
Four Chattanooga police officers are no longer on the force.
Benjamin Dessalines, Cameka Bruce and Daniel Mitchum were fired from the Chattanooga police department after separate internal affairs investigations. Desmond Logan quit while being investigated.
Dessalines was arrested in November for felony kidnapping and sexual battery. Bruce was fired for insubordination and untruthfulness. Mitchum was accused of crashing his patrol car while off-duty and is being investigated for undisclosed criminal offenses. Logan was accused of rape while on duty. He has not been criminally charged.
Chief David Roddy is requesting decertification for all four officers. That means they cannot work as officers in the state of Tennessee.
We requested a sit down with Roddy on Friday. That request was denied, but a spokesperson tells Channel 3 the reason all these cases were decided this week is because they were all heard in the same administrative review committee meeting. That meeting was held on December 20th.
One hundred forty-two internal affairs investigations were opened against Chattanooga police officers last year.
In a recent meeting with city council members, Roddy was ordered to explain his department's policy.
“There's a lot for a community, for our council for our police officers to understand that process,” he said.
Roddy explained all allegations of employee misconduct are investigated, including anonymous complaints.
“To me, that's a very big takeaway that separates your police department from many agencies across the country.”
Here's how the process works.
A complaint is submitted. The officer involved is notified. It is sent to the IA department and the administrative review committee (ARC). Eventually, it is sent to the deputy chief of staff. Then to the chief.
“This takes away; rightfully so my discretion as chief of police,” Roddy said.
Generally, an investigation can take at least six months to complete, according to the police department's policy handbook. A supervisor can request more time. Administration reviews the results, and then the officer involved appears in a disciplinary hearing.
“Our officers face fair and equitable discipline every time they go into a discipline hearing, and the community also understands that it’s not discretionary,” Roddy said. “We're doing it right; we just need to do it better.”