The East Ridge Personnel Review Board has recommended reinstating former Police Chief J.R. Reed to the department as a supervising sergeant over the Traffic Division.
The board’s non-binding recommendation was released on Wednesday. The board heard Reed’s appeal over three meetings in July and August regarding the city’s allegations that he: failed to comply with internal control policy; mishandled investigations; lacked leadership and control over the department; failed to budget for operational needs; failed to develop long-range strategic planning and goals; and that his department had no confidence in him.
Of these charges, the board found that Reed indeed neglected to update outdated SWAT equipment, and lacked the confidence of his officers. Regarding the other charges, the board concluded the charges were unfounded.
Reed was terminated as Chief of Police on March 13. He had been suspended as chief last November while an internal affairs investigation was conducted.
At the time of this posting, East Ridge News Online was unable to reach Reed for comment.
City Manager Chris Dorsey said that he just received the Personnel Review Board’s findings and that he needed time “to digest and evaluate” what steps he may take.
In the findings the board recommended that Reed, who formerly worked as a traffic officer, be reinstated and take over the sergeant’s supervisory role, a position in which he was “highly competent.”
In its findings, the board noted that when Reed was promoted to police chief, there was a “Right of Reversion” clause in his employment agreement. That clause insured that if Reed was ever terminated as chief, he would return to his previous position and rank.
The Personnel Review Board’s findings concluded in part: “In light of Mr. Reed’s violations of department organizational policy, in particular his neglect leading to the SWAT team shutdown and his lack of ability to inspire institutional confidence, this board finds that Mr. Reed is unqualified as Police Chief and is unwilling to recommend his reinstatement as Chief. However, the board does not find any evidence of terminable conduct.”