Two Griffin police officers terminated over Facebook comments

STAFF  REPORT ::
Griffin City Manager Kenny Smith, in keeping with the recommendation of Police Chief Mike Yates, has terminated Bryan Jones and Stacy Beckom, both formerly master patrol officers with the Griffin Police Department.

A press released issued by the city stated, “The city of Griffin takes pride in its reputation for providing a professional standard of public service to the community. Recently, a severe lapse of judgment by two members of the Griffin Police Department discredited and undermined the efforts of those employees, past and present, responsible for building and maintaining that reputation. As a result of their actions, these two individuals have been terminated. Although it is the policy of the city to refrain from commenting publicly on personnel matters, the social significance of this matter, and the need to safeguard public confidence in the city and its Police Department during this critical time, clearly warrant an exception.”

The release continued: I wish to emphasize that this decision was not lightly made. As City Manager and a career public servant, I fully support our Police Department and the men and women, both sworn and unsworn, who comprise it, and I can say with great confidence that the same is true of the City Commissioners. It is a difficult time for law enforcement officers in Griffin and throughout the country, the great majority of whom are dedicated public servants who selflessly place their own personal safety at risk for the benefit of others, yet face public vilification and disparagement for the abuses committed by a select few. These officers are hardly immune from the heightened emotions currently being experienced on all sides of the debate. As such, it was important that this matter be thoroughly investigated and that the employees in question be given a full and fair opportunity to explain their actions before a decision regarding their employment was made. After careful consideration of all relevant facts and circumstances, termination was deemed necessary and appropriate, not only because of the severity of the misconduct, but also because of the importance of assuring our community that the city of Griffin and the Griffin Police Department do not and will not condone or tolerate this type of unprofessional, offensive, and inflammatory behavior.
Every employee of the city of Griffin is an ambassador for the city. As public servants, it is of paramount importance for all employees of the city – especially the men and women of the Police Department – to use their best judgment at all times. Not all lapses in judgment warrant severe disciplinary action, but as City Manager, there are certain actions that I simply cannot and will not tolerate. Actions that convey a lack of regard for the lives, safety and well-being of others – particularly by those who are duty-bound to protect others – are a prime example. No member of this community should ever have any reason to doubt their security and safety in their dealings with any city employee – most especially members of the Griffin Police Department.  The actions of these former employees do not reflect the views, policies, and character of the City of Griffin or the Griffin Police Department.  It is absolutely critical that our community share my confidence in this, and the continued employment of these two individuals simply would not facilitate this goal.

I am committed to maintaining the high level of professionalism among our city workforce, and am proud to be associated with such a dedicated and passionate group of employees and elected officials who share this commitment.  I am also proud to serve a community that I firmly believe is focused on unity, harmony and respect.  We will not let these recent events define us.  Rather, we will learn from them and redouble our efforts to demonstrate our commitment to protecting and serving the Griffin community in its entirety.

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Comments

  1. Can’t believe Coweta County hired one of them

  2. Thank you Sheila!! You are slowly putting GDN our of business!! Yayyy!!!!!

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