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Dothan Police High-Speed Chase Hearing

By: Erika Kurre
By: Erika Kurre

Two Dothan Police Department supervisors and one officer, facing reprimands from a recent high-speed chase were scheduled to appear at a hearing today.

The supervisors filed grievances and the officer was appealing his reprimand. But just before their hearing today, each one withdrew.

Lieutenant Roy Woodham, Sergeant Antonio Gonzales and Officer Salvatore Costello are the employees involved. And since they each withdrew their grievances or appeal today, they have chosen to live with the punishment the police department handed out.

A drunk driver, discovered after a high school football game and a high speed chase across town where shots were fired. A board of experienced police officers, Chief John Powell and the Dothan personnel board immediately launched an investigation into the incident after it first happened on September 17. As a result, the officer who opened fire was given 20 days suspension for using deadly force without the presence of imminent danger.

Also, two department supervisors were verbally reprimanded, one for allowing too many police cars in the chase and another for failing to control the chase.

A hearing was scheduled Monday for the men to defend their actions and dispute their punishments. And at the last minute, they withdrew their motion.

Chief Powell says he looks forward to leaving the past behind and moving ahead with other issues at hand Chief Powell says regardless of today's outcome, he would have supported the personnel board decision and appreciates having them as a system of checks and balances.

The chief is now working to fill a newly-created position of "major" in the department.


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