TCAC Condemns City Manager and TPD Chief for Not Dismissing Officer
The Tallahassee Community Action Committee (TCAC) denounces City Attorney Reese Goad and Police Chief Lawrence Revell for not dismissing an officer who failed a drug test on multiple occasions. This hypocrisy is disgraceful, especially considering their earlier efforts to criminalize drug possession in the city and bring charges against citizens.
We stand in solidarity to end the dishonorable stigma associated with drug abuse and ensure everyone, regardless of power, is held accountable for their deeds. Instead of criminalization, drug use should be treated as an issue of public health. However, our city does not fund programs to help those suffering from drug abuse. Instead, the City spends ⅓ of the entire budget on our police department. All civilians should be subject to the same standards; if an average civilian faces a prison sentence for drug use, a city employee who does not pass a drug test should, at a minimum, be dismissed from their job. Due to their active or passive support of this situation, we appeal to the City Commission to bring this officer to account and to oust Chief Revell and City Manager Goad without delay.
Moreover, in spite of human resources experts’ objections, Chief Revell refused to fire the officer and asserted his prerogative due to the collective bargaining agreement. He reasoned that the positive result may have been due to a one-time use of the controlled substance belonging to a relative. In response to Councilman Matlow's questions concerning the suspected use of methamphetamines, City Manager Goad told him that he had no right to conduct any investigations. Jackson, the City Attorney, advised that Matlow could acquire sufficient details to check if all protocols had been adhered to without disclosing confidential information. Subsequently, Goad dispatched a rundown of the drug testing program, which ended in 22 positive tests and 21 sackings. This officer is the only one not terminated.
Lastly, we remain devoted to abolishing the dishonor attached to drug use. We would rather live in a world where those suffering from drug abuse receive assistance through therapy and other social programs. However, an institution like the Tallahassee Police Department has committed numerous cases of abuse against the people of Tallahassee and has arrested so many for the same crime as this protected officer. They must face the same penalties as ordinary citizens. Consequently, TCAC once again expresses its disgust and disapproval of Goad and Revell's complacency in such a matter and insists that the City Commission take measures against them for their misconduct.
Our objective is to attain community management of the police. This can only be realized through repealing Section 27 of the City Charter. With this, we can obtain community control of the police. An elected body of civilians must be put in place to oversee the police force.