Chattanooga Police Department sergeant suspended for 28 days without pay

Chattanooga Police Department sergeant suspended for 28 days without pay

September 8th, 2012 by Beth Burger in Local Regional News

Chattanooga Police Department Sergeant Chad Sullivan

A Chattanooga Police Department sergeant was given 28 days off without pay after he failed to properly supervise a traffic officer at Riverbend who investigators later learned had consumed alcohol, according to an internal affairs report.

Sgt. Chad Sullivan, 44, a 22-year veteran of the department, was moved out of the traffic unit and back to patrol. He also will be ordered to undergo remedial training for supervisors, according to internal affairs reports released Friday.

Sullivan was suspended after Master Patrol Officer Steve Jones reported to work at Riverbend on June 16 and had alcohol in his system. An officer told Sullivan they suspected Jones had consumed alcohol, but Sullivan never followed up on the information and failed to contact other supervisors, according to the report.

Blood test results from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation showed Jones had a blood alcohol level of 0.07 after a sample was collected at 2:46 a.m. The state legal limit is 0.08 but, under department policy, officers are not allowed to drink for eight hours before going on duty.

Jones, 49, who retired during the internal affairs investigation, drank four 24-ounce lemonade mixers, according to the report. He worked in the traffic unit and had worked at the department for 25 years.

Officers first noticed the smell of alcohol on his breath at about 6 p.m. A breath test was administered at 10:45 p.m. with blood-alcohol results coming back at 0.13, according to the report.

Jones was never arrested for DUI even though he was operating a department motorcycle that night.

"He wasn't charged because we dropped the ball. It's our fault," said Police Chief Bobby Dodd said. "The decision should have been made to handle this as any other DUI. Take one officer off the streets and have him process him and transfer him to the jail the way any other person would have been handled. That's how it should have been handled and it wasn't."