An audit has found that a Greenwood Police Department officer who already was recommended for firing did not follow up on additional reports of possible crimes she was assigned to look into.
Officer Paula Redd already faced departmental charges for repeatedly being late to work, not properly following up on one case and violating other rules. Chief John Laut has asked the police merit commission to fire her. A hearing to consider his request was delayed this week and is now set for June 19.
She now faces a total of five departmental charges stemming from multiple violations, including four new violations the chief filed this month.
Due to the new charges, Laut has suspended Redd without pay until the hearing. She had been suspended with pay since Laut filed the departmental charges in April.
During her career at Greenwood, she had been suspended a total of 23 days for multiple violations prior to this most recent suspension, according to a letter Laut gave the commission in April.
Peter Nugent, the attorney hired by Redd, requested additional time to prepare. He declined to comment other than to say he was hired by her about 10 days ago.
Laut presented a three-page document to the commission Thursday that outlined four more incidents in which he said Redd did not contact residents who filed an online police report.
A resident asked Laut at a recent city council meeting why they had not heard back about an online crime report they made. Redd was responsible for contacting that person, Laut said.
Police reviewed all of the online cases Redd was responsible for and found four additional ones, along with the previous case they knew about, that she did not complete, including reports of an abandoned vehicle, stolen property, violation of a restraining
order/invasion of privacy, and damage to property, according to Laut’s letter.
“This failure and/or refusal could have placed citizens in danger and brought discredit to the department with the public by allowing reported incidents/crimes to go uninvestigated,” Laut wrote in the letter.
Redd was questioned about the initial online report and told the chief that she did not have any other outstanding incidents that needed to be followed up on, Laut said.
“Her dishonest statement hindered multiple investigations and was inaccurate, incomplete and dishonest,” Laut wrote in the letter.
Laut’s letter said Redd broke five conduct codes of the police department, including neglect of duty, disobedience of an order, conduct injurious to the public welfare, conduct unbecoming of an officer and violating departmental rules, according to Laut’s letter.
Since being hired in 2000, Redd has been reprimanded for being late to work nine times and for failing to do paperwork seven times. She did not follow through on an online crime report, and the condition of her car was described as deplorable, according to the letter Laut gave the commission in April.