Collegedale city officials concerned over status of police department
The firing of three officers and resignation of the assistant police chief has created more unrest in the Collegedale Police Department.
Assistant Police Chief James Hardeman has resigned just days after three officers were fired for unknown reasons.
City Commissioner Ethan White says the fact Assistant Chief Hardeman resigned and no one knows why brings more questions to the table.
"Having him resign opens up a lot of questions as to what is really going on in our police department and the chief of police and the city manager,” White said.
The Collegedale Police Department has lost eight officers since July.
Officer’s Kolby Duckett, David Schilling, and Corporal David Holloway were terminated on Friday for unknown reasons.
Officials from the Collegedale Police Department released a statement saying, "the city is an at will employer under Tennessee, meaning that either the city or the employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time without notice or cause."
White believes this situation could have been handled in a better way.
"When it comes down to public servants, and law enforcement officers who have been given the duty to uphold the law, they need to be in a situation where politics cannot exist in the determination on whether they can be fired or hired,” White said.
A special meeting was scheduled to happen on Monday or Tuesday to discuss the department’s issues, but Mayor Katie Lamb decided to move the meeting to next week.
It may not be what he wants, but White understands the decision and wants to be transparent with the public.
"Restore the public’s confidence in our police department, in our city's administration and in the council itself that we are doing our best to make sure that they are being protected on a daily basis and they have the best people working for them,” White said.
Even if means making a few changes.
"I think that if the commission cannot give answers to us that are acceptable, then it might be time for a new administration and leadership for the city of Collegedale,” White said.
The special meeting is next Monday, September 16 at 6:00 p.m. at Collegedale City Hall.
White encourages the public to come out and voice any concerns on the situation.
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