Two Tennessee police officers have been called out for going easy on a fellow officer who was driving under the influence— who also happened to be a trained DUI expert.
Brent Rose has been working for the Franklin Police Department since 2001, arresting drunk drivers and even participating in a 2009 anti-DUI commercial for the Governor’s Highway Safety Office.
But on Nov. 3, Rose was found passed out behind the wheel of his car near a bar after drinking a few too many Jack and Coke’s at the Losers Bar and Grille. He says he doesn’t even remember what happened at the second bar. There was a 32-ounce tumbler of alcohol in the cup holder, and the car's motor was running.
Franklin Police Sgt. J.P. Taylor and Officer Megan Valentin discovered the drunk DUI cop— but instead of arresting him, they let Rose call a friend to drive him home.
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“Do what you got to do. This is going to screw me for testing,” Rose reportedly said.
The officers weren’t sure about their decision to let Rose go. In the investigation that followed, Franklin calling him a “hypocrite,” while Valentin said, “If this were any other citizen, they would have been arrested.”
Police Chief David Rahinsky said that Rose “didn’t leave this episode unscathed.” Once the department got wind of the incident they began an internal investigation.
“I certainly would be hard-pressed to argue with the perception that Officer Rose was given preferential treatment based on his employment,” Rahinsky admitted.
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In his eight years with the police force, this isn’t the first time that Rose has been caught drunk behind the wheel. In 2005, he was given six months probation and ordered to complete an alcohol treatment program when he damaged his car in an off-duty, alcohol-related accident. Rose didn’t report to the incident to the police, as the law requires.
For now, Rose has lost his position as a DUI officer and has been suspended without pay, but he has not been fired. He will have to undergo regular drug and alcohol testing and counseling.
"I lost my brother to alcohol several years ago and there was some unresolved issues dealing with him," Rose said of his behavior.