Po­lice chief forced out, of­fi­cer dis­con­tent cited

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - REGION -

There’s an in­terim leader of the Athens-Clarke County po­lice af­ter Chief Scott Free­man re­signed at the re­quest of the county man­ager.

The Athens Ban­ner-Her­ald re­ported that County Man­ager Blaine Williams named po­lice Capt. Mike Hun­singer to lead the force while the county looks for a new po­lice chief.

The man­ager said he asked Free­man to re­sign or be fired. Free­man listed his de­par­ture as an “in­vol­un­tary res­ig­na­tion” be­cause that makes him el­i­gi­ble for sev­er­ance pay.

Williams said he’s been con­cerned for months that of­fi­cers are leav­ing be­cause of dis­con­tent with Free­man. The news­pa­per re­ported the de­part­ment is 29 of­fi­cers short of its full com­ple­ment of 225.

Mayor Nancy Den­son said Free­man “wasn’t a good fit” for Athens.

The de­part­ment has seen two con­tro­ver­sies this sum­mer over videos show­ing po­lice con­duct.

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