Board Of Alderman Tables Vote On Police Policy

The City of Livingston Board of Mayor and Alderman met in regular session last night and were presented with a new Livingston Police Department (LPD) policy but ended up tabling the policy following concerns.

As previously reported in the Livingston Enterprise, the LPD is subject to an investigation due to theft from within the department. This has subjected them to an investigation being conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) as well as the Comptroller.

With this discrepancy in place, the University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Services (MTAS) Rex Barton who specializes in law enforcement consultation reported to the board that he and Livingston Police Chief Greg Etheredge have consulted with one another in order to initiate new policies to prevent future theft and malfeasance within the department

In Barton’s opening statement, he said Etheredge initiated a policy change in money handling “immediately” after the reported incident; however, the members of the Board of Alderman are concerned about how long malfeasance and neglect such as this have been taking place.

Barton informed he “100% agrees” with what Etheredge put together.

“I can’t emphasize enough that the processes you have in place weren’t bad before,” he stated. “It is just that there wasn’t a process in place to ensure it got followed.”

One recommendation being made included semi-annual inspections.

Alderman Kelly Coleman informed Burton that many of the current LPD policies have steps in place that require semi-annual inspection of the evidence room and requiring multiple employees having custodial fair over the evidence room.

Coleman stated that the policy currently has many of the procedures Burton is recommending.

Barton stated, “I did not review the existing, I only reviewed the new stuff… I haven’t read them, but we talked them through.”

Barton said he did not want to review the existing policy because if the department is going to move to a new policy, he wanted to “look at what [the department] is going to move to.”

“It looks like if you were going to review a department to consider changes in policies, you would review our existing policies first,” Coleman rebutted.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of this week’s Livingston Enterprise.

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