A Tennessee trooper who videotaped people having sex in public places and one who shot her brother in a fight over a tub of butter have been targeted for firing in a cleanup of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, The Tennessean reports. The proposed firings of those two, an officer accused of drunken driving and one with a long history of citizen complaints, are the next steps in Gov. Phil Bredesen’s housecleaning of the troubled patrol. Officials also are making it harder for those without clean records to get on the force.
“This is certainly not a happy day,” said Gerald Nicely, who as acting safety commissioner is overseeing the Highway Patrol. “But I do believe this action constitutes the first steps in preparing the department for the future.” When asked why the patrol’s previous leadership didn’t do something about the officers to be fired, Nicely said he suspected that was part of its culture that Bredesen has asked him to change. That culture included patrol brass who turned a blind eye to such offenses, hiring some applicants because of their connections more than their qualifications, Bredesen said earlier.