GPD Chief will request GSP investigation of officer’s on-duty wreck

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

Griffin Police Department Chief Mike Yates on Sunday clarified a miscommunication regarding an on-duty wreck involving Griffin Police Department Officer Jessie Piland, stating he intends to request the Georgia State Patrol investigate the incident.

Yates originally stated Saturday morning that the Georgia State Patrol is investigating the incident.

Sgt. Robert Thompson, of the GSP-Griffin Post, later said the state agency is not investigating the wreck.

Thompson said the GSP did initially put in a call for a trooper to respond, but when it was learned the response time would be approximately one hour, the request was cancelled.

“I just figured they were working on it. I didn’t realize there was a monkey in the wrench,” Yates said. “I just assumed they were working it because they work all our wrecks.”

He said he still intends to request the GSP investigate the incident.

“I’m going to have the SCRT Team (GSP Specialized Collision and Reconstruction Team) come out and download the command module, so they are investigating, or they will be, however you want to put it,” Yates said. “I’ve never had them turn us down, so I don’t imagine they will, but I won’t be able to get in touch with them until tomorrow.”

Yates further explained he did not respond to earlier emails from The GRIP seeking clarity on this point because those emails did not sync to his phone until after 3 a.m. Sunday. He did send two emails at that time prior to calling Publisher Sheila Mathews several hours later.

Piland was responding to a call for assistance when the wreck that left his patrol car overturned occurred on West Taylor Street.

Piland sustained what Yates described as “no injuries of significance.”

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