The Tennessee Highway Patrol has 48 officers with charges on their record ranging from suspended driver’s license issues to felonies–about one of every 18 officers on the force of 855, reports The Tennessean. The information comes from a background check of the entire department ordered by Gov. Phil Bredesen. The governor ordered the screenings in response to questions from The Tennessean about background checks mentioned in a memo from the commander of the patrol. “There is an issue for me in how the department operates,” Bredesen said. “My reaction was, ‘I’m getting expletives tired of The Tennessean doing our work for us. Let’s go do some work.'”
The inquiry came after a report by The Tennessean that two-thirds of officers promoted since Bredesen took office gave money to his campaign or had relatives or patrons who did. Bredesen vowed to ask an independent law enforcement consultant to review practices at the patrol, including the promotion issues. The governor asked officials to review all internal affairs investigations of the department dating back years to determine if any other cases require action.