MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - To serve and protect—that's an officer's mission. But what happens when one of them breaks the law? This question comes after the recent arrest of a Macon police officer who is facing drug charges. The Bibb County sheriff says he will not tolerate this kind of behavior when Macon police and deputies merge next year.
The men in blue or brown. No matter the uniform, the job is the same: to serve and protect the community, but Bibb County Sheriff David Davis says sometimes these officers go astray.
"People get in situations and they get in with family members or someone they become involved with both either romantically or friendship wise that may lead them into some criminal activity," Davis said.
Davis says these things happen, and when it does, it is up to law enforcement leaders to take a stand.
"We are not going to tolerate any officers who go and do things outside of the law," he said.
But so far this year, seven upholders of the law have done just that. Five Macon police officers were arrested—the most recent on drug charges, two for stealing firearms, and two on theft charges. Davis says he has fired two of his deputies since he became sheriff.
"Its disheartening to the public to see officers who are supposed to be held to a higher standard break the law but what is more disheartening is that if we give the perception that we're not acting quickly enough and that we're not taking decisive action on it," Davis said.
He won't stand for any violations when the two departments merge in January 2014. Davis says his office will use extensive background checks on new hires and internal affairs deputies are already looking at the files of the incoming Macon police officers.
"So that we can become familiar with some of the backgrounds of some of the officers and some of the things they may have been involved in, especially any officers who have some previous internal affairs reports on them."
And to make sure "To serve...to protect" isn't just a motto, but a mission.
Davis says both he and Macon Police Chief Mike Carswell are committed to acting fast and decisively in situations where officers violate policies or the law.
Carswell released the following statement about Officer Kontrina Toomer's drug arrest in Monroe County Thursday night:
..The MPD will continue to cooperate with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. A decision regarding Officer Toomer's status will be made sometime next week...we have no tolerance for even a single arrest. We have a police department to run and intend to honor our daily commitment to protect and serve the citizens of Macon.
Toomer is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the internal affairs investigation.