FRANKLIN — The suspension of a Franklin deputy police chief and the retirement of a second deputy chief in December have shaken up the top ranks of Franklin Police.
In November, police suspended Deputy Chief Mike Jordan after an internal police investigation concluded that Jordan, a 34-year police veteran, told a Nashville reporter about a police investigation into the discovery of a GPS tracking device on a car owned by Franklin resident and movie star Ashley Judd. In the police report, she said she believed her sister, country music star Wynonna Judd, was responsible for the device.
As deputy chief, Jordan oversaw the department's patrol/operations division. But because of the suspension, Deputy Chief Kevin Teague was shifted from leading the department's criminal investigations division to commanding the patrol/operations division. The change occurred Jan. 1.
Jordan will face a disciplinary hearing, though a date has not been set.
"(Jordan's) current suspension is not a result of a disciplinary sentence, but concurrent to the department learning that he leaked statutorily protected, confidential information regarding the Judd GPS investigation," said Sgt. Charlie Warner, police spokesman.
Jordan could not be reached for this story.
The publicity of the Judd GPS case brought a rebuke of the media by Ashley Judd, who called the coverage "an attempt to create salacious and divisive 'news'."
The case has since been made inactive by Franklin police.
Judd, police worked together
Warner said police fielded an "inordinate" number of requests from international and national media outlets and praised Ashley Judd's involvement with police.
"Ashley Judd was very hands-on with the department during the investigation and the things that followed," Warner said. "I spent a lot of time talking to her and answering questions and really talking with her about all the inquiries that followed. She was gracious with the time that she spent with us trying to get things resolved so that the police investigation could take its course like it needed to despite the distraction of all the inquiries that followed this case once it became known."
With Teague's move to patrol/operations, Franklin Police Lt. Rob Lenters will assume command of the police criminal investigation department and report directly to Franklin Police Chief David Rahinsky.
The other change in the department occurred in December when 28-year veteran Deputy Chief Bruce Bateman retired. Bateman oversaw the department's administration division.
So far, no one has been appointed to lead the administration division.
Warner said discussions are underway about the exams that could lead to promotions to fill departmental vacancies.
"2014 is the year that we should see promotions taking place in the department that will get the right qualified people to the positions that they can best excel at," Warner said.
Police measure satisfaction
2014 also will be a year of greater public outreach between Franklin Police and the public.
Late last week, chief Rahinsky announced a new weekly call-back program where 20 people who contacted police will get a follow-up call from police officials to measure their satisfaction with the department and its officers.
People will be contacted by a random call generator designed by Franklin Police Officer Chris Grant that pulls contact data from dispatch computers. Respondents will answer a short survey and the results will be shared with Rahinsky's office, police said.
"We are a service organization, and the satisfaction of the people who make up the community that we serve matters," Rahinsky said.