What began as seven misreported crimes in the Mobile Police Department ended with the demotion of a precinct captain, corporal and lieutenant plus hundreds of hours of suspensions.
During a Dec. 12 press conference, Chief James Barber announced Eddie Patrick’s demotion from captain to lieutenant and removal from command of the First Precinct, which is where the falsified reports took place.
The investigation started on June 4 when a ComStat Unit reported discrepancies in the First Precinct. For an entire week, no serious crimes were reported in the Central Events sub-precinct of Precinct 1. Central Events encompasses downtown Mobile.
The initial investigation showed seven reports had been changed to lesser crimes.
Barber outlined the events that took place next, which ultimately led to the punishment of four officers.
“From that point, a preliminary investigation found that detectives had made false entries in the reports, effectively changing them to lesser offenses,” he said. “The First Precinct had a disproportionate amount of changed reports compared to other precincts. So it was turned over to the Internal Affairs for investigation.”
The investigation looked at 3,200 reports filed from January 2013 to June 2013. During that investigation, one officer in the first precinct — Anthony Sanchez — resigned.
The investigation showed that one out of every four reports in the First Precinct was changed.
“For comparison, the First Precinct had one out of every four reports changed and the next highest precinct had five out of 1,000 changed,” Barber said. “That shows the discrepancy.”
Following the investigation, six officers were charged. However, only four were found guilty.
Officer Scott Davis was found guilty of conduct unbecoming and false entries. He was suspended for 240 hours.
Cpl. Damian Colvin was found guilty of conduct unbecoming and false entries. He was demoted from corporal to patrolman and was suspended for 120 hours.
Sgt. Joe Wolfe was found guilty of failure to supervise and false entries. He was demoted from sergeant to corporal and was suspended for 160 hours.
Patrick was found guilty of conduct unbecoming, failure to supervise and failure to obey a direct order. He was not only demoted, but also suspended for 200 hours.
Lt. Roy Hodge now heads the First Precinct.
“Lt. Hodge is a 30-year veteran and highly respected,” Barber said.
The officers found guilty all worked on the same detail Barber said.
The officers do have the right to appeal to the Mobile County Personnel Board.
The news of the ranking officers’ punishment came on the heels of another issue with a ranking officer — Capt. Carla Longmire.
On Dec. 10, the Third Precinct Commander and her subordinate officer Bradley Latham were formally accused of administrative charges stemming from allegedly having sexual relations while on duty.
Barber lamented the fact he had to announce more internal affair black eyes.
“I’m disappointed I have to be up here discussing internal affairs of the police department especially when they go against everything I’m trying to steer the department to,” Barber said. “The fact of the matter is 99 percent of the officers here do a fantastic job every day.”
The MPD will be contacting the victims of the misreported crimes. However, Barber said if citizens feel cases were not handled properly they are encouraged to contact the department.
Updated at 10:04 p.m. Dec. 12 to correct grammatical errors.