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Police officer suspended, faces firing

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A 13-year veteran of the Greenwood Police Department has been suspended and the chief is asking that she be fired after repeatedly showing up late for work and violating multiple other departmental rules.

Officer Paula Redd has been suspended with pay until a hearing by the police merit commission May 8, when the board will consider Chief John Laut’s recommendation to fire the officer.

Redd has 20 days to file any statements in her defense or to dispute the allegations of repeated tardiness and other violations. She also would be able to speak at the hearing. She could resign and avoid a hearing.

Redd could not be reached for comment.

Since she was hired in 2000, Redd, who is paid $53,213 a year, has been suspended a total of 23 days for multiple violations. She has been reprimanded nine times for showing up late for work, according to a letter that Laut gave to merit commission board members.

“Some of these listed would seem to be excessive for a police officer in terms of numbers of violations,” merit commission member Al Stilley said. “Looking down through it, it would seem to support what the chief is requesting.”

Laut declined to comment on the disciplinary action until after a potential hearing is completed. The merit commission is a five-member board that is appointed by department police officers, the mayor and the city council. The police merit commission is responsible for overseeing the hiring, firing and disciplining of officers.

Redd was late to work one day shortly after Laut became chief in 2012, and he gave her a written warning to be on time in the future. One month later, Redd was late for work again and was suspended for five days, according to the document.

In 2013, Redd was disciplined for not completing paperwork for a police report for the seventh time in her career. Earlier this year Redd was reprimanded for insubordination after not calling a resident on a theft case two weeks after being told to do so, according to the document.

Laut described Redd’s 1-year-old police car as being in deplorable condition, according to the document.

“It was apparent Officer Redd failed to clean her vehicle for a long period of time,” Laut wrote in the document. “There was also damage to the body of the car — scratches and dents — that Officer Redd had failed to report.”

Redd was given a certificate of commendation in 2008 for her role in negotiating the safe release of an infant who was being held at knifepoint by a man.

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