Petition slams Cornersville PD

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Lewisburg man has circulated a petition complaining about the behavior of Cornersville Police.

Town police are "hiding behind the post office and in personal driveways," according to Kevin Rogers' petition.

Signed by 20 people, the petition alleges "This tactic causes the officer to have to use excessive speed to catch up to the alleged speeder...this is recklessly endangering the safety of our law-abiding citizens."

Alderwoman Doris Arthur has not seen the petition yet, but says she's heard some people have apologized for signing it.

Rogers, whose family has lived in the Cornersville area for five generations, says he was nearly involved in an accident a couple of years ago when a police car pulled out of the Starlight Café's parking lot to chase a speeder, causing him to swerve and nearly rear-end the car in front of him.

"I complain every time I see something unsafe in Cornersville," Rogers said. "They keep making excuses. I don't know why these guys won't work with me: all I'm asking for is for them to do a safer job. I want something done about it. They think they're above the law!"

City Manager Taylor Brandon defended the police.

"I believe our officers are professional," Brandon said. "I would request people give us evidence of our officers acting recklessly. I'll stand behind our officers as a professional bunch that have the best interests of our citizens at heart."

Asked if Roger's petition would be discussed at the next meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Brandon replied he doesn't put complaints on the agenda.

"I might mention it to the board and give them a copy," Brandon said. "It's not a board level thing."

Anyone may address the board during the citizens' comments portion of the monthly meeting, but they must live inside Cornersville town limits and are restricted to three minutes.

"There's nothing that has been verified," Alderwoman Arthur said. "I have not seen anything out of our officers that was incorrect. I've never seen one hidden."

Arthur also said police cars must be still some of the time.

"The way gas is, the citizens could not afford for the police to be moving 24 hours a day," she said.

Rogers says Alderwoman Melissa Peters is "the only one who has tried to help me." Peters knows many people have complained about police, he said. And, she's seen them hiding in order to trap speeding motorists.

"Safety trumps everything," exclaims Rogers, who reports that an assistant district attorney says he cannot take action until a person is actually injured by some action of the Cornersville Police. By making his petition public, Rogers says he wants to motivate the public and get something done that way.