Grapeland police officer fired after unethical conduct at party

GRAPELAND, TX (KTRE) - The Grapeland Police Department is one officer short after his conduct at a party ended his career.

"The officer allowed a female subject at the party to wear his duty rig with his weapon, taser and ammunition on the gun belt," said Grapeland Police Chief Chuck Franklin.

Pictures from the incident were posted on a social media site. The pictures showed a woman with an alcoholic beverage in her hand, displaying the officer's belt around her waist.

The pictures have since been removed from the site.

After receiving several phone calls about the incident, Chief Franklin terminated the officer on the morning of June 26.

Franklin said the incident went against the code of ethics that peace offers are to adhere to.

The officer's name is not being released because of company policy.

Deciding to fire the officer who had served the Grapeland department for a year and with Franklin at a previous department was difficult, but necessary since public safety was at risk.

"It's a hard decision to make and hard to do, but you have to have the public's safety in mind," said Franklin.

Franklin believes this was an isolated incident, but did inform his officers about the seriousness of it, and hopes others will not make the same mistake.

"All of our guys understand the ramifications of being irresponsible with their firearms, with their weapons and with their position in the city," said Franklin. "It's their job to not only uphold the law but to abide by it."

Franklin said the officer would not being facing any legal charges and that this was an internal matter and that any loss of certification from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education is pending until their representatives review the termination paperwork

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