Tennessee – background checks flag 48 State Troopers
Governor Phil Bredesen ordered The THP, Tennessee Highway Patrol to run criminal background checks on it’s entire department and discovered 48 State Troopers who had criminal records ranging from driver’s license suspensions due to DUIs to felonies including larceny and assault. An astonishing 1 out of every 18 Troopers! 855 make up the entire force.
Under pressure from questions by The Tennessean, Bredesen ordered the background checks. “There is an issue for me in how the department operates.” “I’m getting #$@%$& tired of The Tennessean doing our work for us! Let’s go do some work!”
The Tennessean had inquired about a memo from Commander Lynn Pitts, warning the troopers about the background checks, which was followed by report that 2/3 of the troopers promoted or their relatives contributed money to Bredesen’s political campaign.
The 48 troopers’ records either showed up in the Driver’s license database or the NCIC. Some had up to 3 offenses on their record.
Pitts: “If a felony conviction is found during a background check it will be your responsibility to rectify these records by either expungement or other legal process. It is imperative that you attend to this issue immediately.”
The purpose of criminal records expungement is to make it so a criminal record is no longer public, to help the first-time offender rehabilitate instead of being marked for life for one mistake.
State Safety Commissioner Fred Phillips who oversees the THP: “If I find someone who has a criminal conviction, you’ll know about it because I’m going to fire them.”