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Starkville police to no longer let officers avoid arrest if suspected of DUI

The Starkville Police Department says it will no longer let fellow police officers go without being arrested or charged if suspected of driving under the influence.

Posted: Mar. 21, 2018 7:42 PM
Updated: Mar. 21, 2018 8:03 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - The Starkville Police Department says it will no longer let fellow police officers go without being arrested or charged if suspected of driving under the influence.

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Chief Frank Nichols says that practice is a "professional courtesy" in law enforcement, which is what happened this month when Columbus police Sergeant Louis Alexander was pulled over by a Starkville officer.

On Wednesday, Starkville police released dashcam video of Alexander's traffic stop.  According to the chief, Alexander was driving near Highway 12 just before 1 a.m. on March 9 when his vehicle was seen swerving.

"The decision to release Mr. Alexander, who exhibited signs of being under the influence of alcohol, was a bad judgment call and is not indicative of the type of service that the Starkville Police Department strives to render," said Nichols in a news conference.

The chief says the city of Columbus was called after Alexander was given a field sobriety test.  Columbus sent someone to pick Alexander up from Starkville.

It is believed Alexander is the Columbus city employee who was suspended for 30 days Tuesday by the City Council.  City spokesman Joe Dillon would not reveal the employee's name but said the punishment was for "conduct unbecoming an officer."

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