Thursday, February 01, 2007

Mobile Court Cops Test Positive for Drugs

Drug tests bring down 2 court cops
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Staff Reporter Press Register

Two officers are no longer with the Mobile County Court Police after a drug test of the entire force, officials said Wednesday.

Presiding Circuit Judge Charles Graddick and Circuit Judge Joseph "Rusty" Johnston both confirmed that the officers lost their jobs.

The chief of court police, James Collier, was not available for comment Wednesday.

Johnston, as a circuit judge, serves as the director of the police unit.

Consisting of approximately 25 officers, court police, among other duties, control the security checkpoints at the entrance to the elevators on both sides of Government Plaza -- the city side in the south tower and the courts in the north tower.

According to the judges, every officer on the force was asked to submit to drug tests during the second week of January. Out of 25 officers administered the test, two tested positive for illegal substances, Graddick and Johnston said.

According to Johnston, one of the officers indicated to a superior prior to the test that he would likely fail it due to marijuana use.

Johnston said the officer acknowledged smoking marijuana on New Year's Eve, saying he was not a regular user. Johnston said the officer took the test but resigned before the results could be processed.

Johnston declined to provide the resigned officer's name, saying the officer confessed and voluntarily left the force.

The other officer, whose employment was terminated due to the presence of Valium in the test results, was identified by Johnston as Edward Pears, a court police officer for more than 10 years.

The officer was asked to provide copies of any prescriptions for Valium. Pears was unable to do so, Johnston said, and he was terminated.

Johnston said Pears later said he had been given a Valium tablet during a visit to the dentist on Dec. 26.

Valium is in a class of tranquilizer-type drugs.

Johnston said the officer who tested positive for marijuana had been on the force about two years prior to the drug test.

Sheriff's deputies, police officers and other area police must secure their firearms in special lockers before making their way to Government Plaza courtrooms and chambers.

The only officers allowed to wear firearms there are the court police.

"Obviously," Johnston said, "with sworn officers carrying guns, we need to make sure they are absolutely drug free and in good physical and mental condition."

I love it when things like this happen. Two men that watched regular non-badge wearing citizens get sent to jail every day for years for doing what they themselves did when they had the opportunity. You can bet, however, that these two men will never face charges or see the inside of a jail. They won't have DHR come out and investigate their house keeping abilities or ask their children if they have ever been sexually molested. They won't lose their homes and cars in asset forfiture. No. they will get to go on with their merry lives while thousands who are guilty of nothing more than what these two are guilty of rot away in government cages.

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