A police chief’s polygraph is being used to eliminate racist applicants for the Coopertown, Tennessee Police Department. Police Chief Shane Sullivan hopes that the testing will eliminate any further scandal within the department.
Sullivan was hired as police chief last November. He aspires to rebuild the small police department and is dedicated to keeping his force free of racists. His decision to use a polygraph is related to controversy and scandal that completely eliminated the small town’s police department for several months.
The police department started to fall apart when two patrolmen were dismissed amid accusations of excessive force and racial slurs. As reported by ABC News, one of the incidents gained national attention when the dash cam footage was released to the media. The backlash led to the resignation of the police chief, who was the last remaining police employee in Coopertown.
Historically, the town of Cooperville was known as a speed trap which targeted minorities. Adding the more recent scandals, the town had gained a largely negative reputation. The new police chief’s polygraph is an effort to improve the police force and the reputation of the small Tennessee town.
Chief Sullivan believes applicants who are racist will likely be deterred from applying if they know the polygraph is being used. Several applicants who were informed about the chief’s policy have failed to follow up with applications.
The newly appointed police chief, who has taken the test himself, points out that applicants are not being asked if they have racial tendencies or if they have ever uttered a racial slur. As reported by Fox News, the applicants are only asked if they have ever “committed a hate crime or race-based crime.”
Coopertown residents are excited about the police chief’s polygraph test. They want Coopertown to gain a more positive reputation and they believe that a good, solid, and fair police department is a good step in the right direction.