New chief of police looks to change Coopertown's image - WKRN News 2

New chief of police looks to change Coopertown's image

Posted: Updated: Jan 24, 2013 6:03 PM
Chief Shane Sullivan was hired in November of last year after the town's police department fell apart. Chief Shane Sullivan was hired in November of last year after the town's police department fell apart.
COOPERTOWN, Tenn. -

Coopertown's new police chief is looking to change his department's reputation after years of high-profile racial controversy.

Chief Shane Sullivan said they are looking to hire at least one more full-time officer as well as two reserve officers within the next month, and any candidate will have to take a lie detector test.

Chief Sullivan said they are looking for someone with a good moral character, especially someone who doesn't have any kind of racial or prejudice issue towards any group.

He said one likely question on the polygraph would be, ‘Have you ever committed a racial or hate crime against society or any individual?'

"As a police officer in the state of Tennessee one of the main things, qualifications is you have to be good moral character and that's what we're looking for," Sullivan said. "It's a process that helps us eliminate people that we feel won't fit the job. And I believe it works."

Chief Sullivan was hired in November of last year after the town's police department fell apart.

In August, the town of 4,000 made national headlines after a dash-cam video was released. It showed a reserve officer using a racial slur after stopping a black motorist.

The police chief at the time fired the officer. Then, a few weeks later, the chief quit, leaving the city without a police department.

In 2006, the police department was accused of racially profiling Hispanic drivers, but a judge dismissed the case, citing a lack of evidence.

Since the controversy last summer, the Robertson County Sheriff's Office has been covering the town's law enforcement needs.

Chief Sullivan said he began patrolling in December and with the help of two new officers, they've been able to respond to calls within the town. However, he said at this time they don't offer 24 hours of coverage but he said that's the goal.

Right now they work from 8 a.m. until about 6 p.m.  The sheriff's office covers the overnight shift.

Timothy Reeves was hired in December.  He was the former police chief in Henry, Tennessee and most recently worked as an officer at Volunteer State Community College.

Stephen McDougal was also recently hired. Sullivan said he has no previous law enforcement history.

Chief Sullivan previously worked at the Hickman County Sheriff's Office for 17 years, most recently as a lieutenant over the patrol division.

He said it was a big decision to take the job but he looks at it as a challenge to resolve the department's issues and get them back on the right track.

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