Police, fire departments hire employees despite red flags

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Records show the Knoxville police and fire departments hired employees between 2004 and 2015 even though their applications were flagged for issues including drug use, juvenile convictions and poor driving records.

The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1KDJD0O ) reports some employees appealed the “non-endorsements” and were ultimately hired.

Records also show some of the employees went on to have distinguished careers, while others never made it past the police academy. One of the officers who appealed his “non-endorsement” was eventually fired after police say he crashed a cruiser with alcohol in his system.

Mayor Madeline Rogero says the appeals process is “not a failure” and that it is better than the city’s regular hiring process. Police Chief David Rausch says a person’s background does not always determine an employee’s future performance.