The Bibb County school system hired a former small-town police chief who was fired from his last job and has a pending complaint against him with the state agency that oversees police ethics and certification, according to an October 23rd story in The Telegraph newspaper in Macon, Georgia.
Ronald Rodgers, the former chief in question, began working earlier this month in a newly created position of captain for the Bibb County campus police, the paper reported. A school official declined to comment on whether the district knew about Rodgers being the target of a state investigation, the story said.
The hiring of Rodgers is the latest in a series of stories in which the Bibb County Schools are under fire for their management of school crime and discipline reporting, and hiring for leadership positions in the school police department.
Earlier in October, the school district hired Russell Bentley, who previously retired from the district, as the district’s police chief. Bentley was hired for the vacant chief’s position after a consulting firm he served in a management role for conducted a school safety audit urging the district to fill the chief’s position.
In an interview with The Telegraph after his hiring as chief, Bentley reportedly told the paper he saw no conflict of interest in moving from his role with the consulting firm hired to audit the district into the chief’s job as a school district employee.
“It’s an opportunity to use those experiences that I gleaned traveling throughout this country, in conjunction with those experiences that the district afforded me in my previous tenure,” he reportedly told the paper.
It is unclear from the news story if Bentley was involved in creating the new captain’s position or in hiring Rodgers.
School board member Lynn Farmer noted that past assessments of the Bibb County school district police indicated the force needed more officers and dispatchers, not management, the paper said.
“As a board member, I would’ve waited to hire someone until the investigation was over,” Farmer was quoted as saying.
To protect the integrity of the school police department and the already-embattled school district, it would seem that the new campus police chief and the district’s superintendent would have thought so, too.
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