Franklin’s finest haven’t even had to leave the station to catch troublemakers lately. On the heels of the June arrest and firing of former Franklin Police Officer Phillip Wise, who harassed and threatened to murder his girlfriend’s roommate, WKRN now reports that two more officers left the force for alleged wrongdoing.
According to a report by WKRN, officer Ryan Dugger, a rookie, and Britton Cornell, a decorated veteran, both resigned amidst internal affairs investigations.
Cornell, a veteran cop who once earned officer-of-the-month honors for thwarting a theft ring, resigned after an internal investigation showed he likely stepped over the thin blue line in a physical incident on March 31 with a shoplifter at the Columbia Walmart, where he and Dugger both moonlighted as loss-prevention specialists. The pair were working the second-job without departmental permission. The median yearly salary of FPD patrol officers is $49,183, with a range from $40,955- $58,043.
Cornell, scheduled on April 13 to give internal affairs his version of events in a lie detector test, instead gave them his resignation.
Both former cops worked the night of the incident, which began when Cornell witnessed a shoplifter trying to leave the store. He, against FPD rules when moonlighting, flashed his badge to the suspect, according to an internal memo obtained by WKRN.
While Cornell took the shoplifter back into the store, they began to fight; the suspect ended up in a chokehold — one that FPD regulations forbid the use of when forced to use physical force.
However, the suspect twisted out of the chokehold and started to kick at Cornell. The off-duty officer, though, regained control and, once he got the suspect onto the ground, punched him several times in the head.
Cornell, who was injured in the conflict, failed to report it to his supervisors, according to WKRN. Becuase of this, he missed mandatory SWAT school.
Both Cornell and Dugger also, according to an internal report obtained by WKRN, abused the department’s information portal, using it to look up private information about people they knew and Facebook friends. However, Cornell blamed Dugger, claiming he must have gotten his username and password somehow.
Dugger, who just joined the department last July and grew up wanting to be a cop, was “deceptive and uncooperative” during the internal investigation, WKRN reported.
He had “excessive queries” on the information portal, many while off-duty and not related to any case. WKRN reported that the investigation showed that he may have used it in service of his loss-prevention Walmart job.
When questioned by FPD Chief Deb Faulkner, the rookie officer said he was a door greeter, not a security officer.
The investigators to confirm this called the Columbia Walmart, and learned the truth.
Dugger then refused to co-operate or answer any further questions. He, WKRN reports the internal report says, resigned rather than answer questions.
The FPD asked the P.O.S.T. Commission (Peace Officer Standards Training Commission), which polices and regulates law enforcement in Tennessee, to strip Dugger and Cornell of their certification. Though, both plan to fight the decision, and are entitled to a hearing to present their case.