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Richmond County deputy resigns; altered alcohol test results

Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 1:52 AM
Last updated 1:56 AM
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A Richmond County sheriff’s deputy caught changing the results of breath tests has resigned, Sheriff Ronnie Strength said Thursday.

Deputy Erik Norman was otherwise “a good field officer,” but admitted to a state court prosecutor he’d written down a higher breath alcohol test reading than two suspects had actually registered, Strength said. The field readings aren’t admissible in court.

“I had a big problem with it as far as integrity,” the sheriff said.

Norman, a sheriff’s office employee since 2002, went before the agency’s internal affairs board, which gave him the opportunity to resign. Norman’s actions were referred to the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, Strength said. POST is the agency that certifies Georgia law enforcement personnel.

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Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 11/11/11 - 04:14 am
0
0
The altering of these results

The altering of these results makes no since as they are only "field tests" to determine if the subject should be arrested and transported to take an actual breath test that would be admissible in court or if necessary, a blood test.

The actions of one officer ALWAYS hurts ALL officers and should be dealt with swiftly and exactly as Sheriff Strength did, no matter who the officer is or how good they are in other areas.

As for the actual tests, the results are printed out by computer and are not changeable or able to be altered in any way. The same goes for blood work which is conducted by hospitals. This prevents any problems from occurring or any wrong convictions based on officer opinion, etc. but we still must be able to trust that the officer had probable cause for the arrest in the first place based on the field tests.

This goes against everything officers/deputes learn and believe in and is simply unacceptable. At the same time, it also re-affirms that Police Agencies and Sheriff’s Offices do in fact police their own do their best to remove unethical or immoral employees not only from their agency but from [filtered word]T. as well.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 11/11/11 - 05:44 am
0
0
Why would this officer do

Why would this officer do this?

Brad Owens
4449
Points
Brad Owens 11/11/11 - 07:19 am
0
0
This is just not good.

This is just not good. Reflects so poorly on the team as a whole.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 11/11/11 - 08:00 am
0
0
bjphysics...he did it when

bjphysics...he did it when certain people had an attitude.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 11/11/11 - 08:30 am
0
0
9 years down the tubes; I

9 years down the tubes; I kind of feel sorry for this guy.

macktaylor
29
Points
macktaylor 11/11/11 - 08:35 am
0
0
As I said in another post

As I said in another post string is I think he may have been upset with how prosecutors handled his cases. As a former prosecutor the alcosensor number helped minimally on refusal cases. The DUI arrest video was always the most helpful. I find it regrettable that Norman would do this for whatever reason because he was a very good officer. He knew how to properly administer field sobriety tests and collect the appropriate amount of evidence. Some officers get a little overzealous about their cases. I never saw this in Norman. This is a tragic end for a very fine police officer.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 11/11/11 - 08:37 am
0
0
I knew a guy that drove his

I knew a guy that drove his car onto the beach and didn’t realize it. He was stuck in the sand with his wheels spinning and still thought he was driving down a scenic bayfront highway with a view of the water. A Florida state trooper, standing stationary in the sand, leaned into his window and said:

“Pull over buddy, you’re drunk.”

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 11/11/11 - 08:42 am
0
0
macktaylor....if the deputy

macktaylor....if the deputy wasn't 'overzealous' on his cases, he wouldn't have resorted to altering the numbers.

macktaylor
29
Points
macktaylor 11/11/11 - 09:38 am
0
0
That is why I'm surprised

That is why I'm surprised Patty. I never saw him act like those officers. What I am saying is that it is surprising that he did this.

nanowerx
1325
Points
nanowerx 11/11/11 - 10:16 am
0
0
This is a disgusting abuse of

This is a disgusting abuse of power and give good cops a bad rap. They need to weed out trash like this as soon as possible or else it puts the whole department in a questionable state.

This is one of the reasons I avoid the police. This is the reason I switch lanes when a cop gets behind me on the road. This is the reason I am always expecting to be harassed whenever I come into contact with the authorities. Remember the old title they used to have, "PEACE Officer?" Why does this still not apply? The Police are suppose to be public servants, not Judge Dredd.

Ashleyn1
44
Points
Ashleyn1 11/11/11 - 10:53 am
0
0
Not his smartest move but

Not his smartest move but proof that officers aren't all good!

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 11/11/11 - 11:07 am
0
0
What amazes me that someone

What amazes me that someone can have a good reputation and because we are all human, have a lapse in good judgement and make a poor decision, and all of a sudden someone can go from being a respected, good person, to "weed out trash like this" and "aren't all good". Guess the one strick and you're dog meat concept rules.

I hate that a man's job and reputation of being a good cop of 9 years is gone, and that the reputation of the duties of that position has been tarnished. I'm sure Mr. Norman wishes he had not altered the test but I do give him credit for being honest enough to admit his wrong.

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 11/11/11 - 11:09 am
0
0
Ashleyn1, and one wrong

Ashleyn1, and one wrong decision doesn't make someone bad either, just makes them fallible.

wondersnevercease
9218
Points
wondersnevercease 11/11/11 - 11:12 am
0
0
"bjphysics...he did it when
Unpublished

"bjphysics...he did it when certain people had an attitude.".................Is that what was proven?..

Newshound
3
Points
Newshound 11/11/11 - 11:17 am
0
0
I think it was all about

I think it was all about people with attitudes too. Certainly isn't right, but with all of his training and service, too bad it couldn't have been more military-style: Demotion and then earn back that stripe!

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 11/11/11 - 11:23 am
0
0
i'd like to hear why he did
Unpublished

i'd like to hear why he did it. is there a tribunal or anything? does the sheriff just make firing decisions unilaterally? are we missing the insight into the department that would come with some sort of hearing?

Riverman1
84118
Points
Riverman1 11/11/11 - 11:25 am
0
0
The biggest issue to me is

The biggest issue to me is why the DA is not prosecuting him for presenting false information concerning the public. Mack explained on the other thread how these readings could come up in court before the individual was sentenced. I wonder why Ashley Wright didn't bring charges against him? The prosecutors were using the information he falsified. She is too intimate with the RCSO. 11:11

Riverman1
84118
Points
Riverman1 11/11/11 - 11:28 am
0
0
Why wasn't there a story on

Why wasn't there a story on this before? It broke in other places a while ago. 11:11

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 11/11/11 - 11:30 am
0
0
wondersnevercease....that is

wondersnevercease....that is what was said on another news site.

Riverman1
84118
Points
Riverman1 11/11/11 - 11:35 am
0
0
It kind of puts a different

It kind of puts a different light on the actions of Judge Annis the other day. He may know more than some think. 11:11

macktaylor
29
Points
macktaylor 11/11/11 - 11:37 am
0
0
The very interesting thing

The very interesting thing about this situation is that he admitted it to a prosecutor. There must be something awfully mitigating about this circumstance. If he was trying to mislead people, then why would he tell a prosecutor that he did it. To echo broad street a little, I would like to know. The internal investigation I'm sure is over; he no longer works there.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 11/11/11 - 12:34 pm
0
0
You are right Riverman. I

You are right Riverman. I thought the same thing too. I think Judge Annis made the right decision on the case with the information presented to him, though others would disagree.
macktaylor, there is a story on WRDW which states his reason for doing it.

Ashleyn1
44
Points
Ashleyn1 11/11/11 - 02:50 pm
0
0
I didn't say he was

I didn't say he was "bad"...said proves all officers aren't "good"...meaning you expect police to uphold the law, not break it...i don't agree will altering someones test...if they were drinking and driving i agree to throwing the book at them...

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 11/11/11 - 05:25 pm
0
0
Hopefully, POST is bettering

Hopefully, POST is bettering at policing peace officers than the GAPSC is at policing teachers and school administrators.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 11/11/11 - 05:25 pm
0
0
ICL, I agree if at all

ICL, I agree if at all possible, we must allow the consequences to happen and then seek restoration, if possible. He could have had a payless suspension, then sent to the records bureau or jail duty for a probation period.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 11/11/11 - 05:27 pm
0
0
How many DUI reports are now

How many DUI reports are now suspect and open to legal challenge?

Sweet son
10415
Points
Sweet son 11/11/11 - 05:49 pm
0
0
Doesn't make sense as

Doesn't make sense as bjphysics said! Why would you write this stuff down? Did he take these people on in to the jail for a breath test or did he let them go? If he fudged the field numbers up just to take suspect DUI drivers on into the jail then the jail test would have been lower. If he fudged the field test numbers down to let the suspect go then why the heck write them down anyway. Still with "bj" doesn't seem to make sense! Thinking about it, there is just not enough story here! Why did I write this long comment?!! LOL!

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 11/11/11 - 06:01 pm
0
0
For the first time Willow I

For the first time Willow I have to disagree. I could be wrong but if he fudged the numbers that means a person went to jail because of a falsified report. That person may have had to deal with work issues and who knows what else while this officer is just put on 'desk duty' for telling a lie on someone. That is very unfair to me. The average citizen would face charges for lying to an officer, the same should hold for an officer who lies on a citizen.

Riverman1
84118
Points
Riverman1 11/11/11 - 06:42 pm
0
0
Yeah, this goes beyond being

Yeah, this goes beyond being disciplined or fired. It's criminal.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 11/11/11 - 06:48 pm
0
0
Patty-P, you think I went to

Patty-P, you think I went to soft here? They said it wasn't admissable in court so,the real test would have showed up differently. But I guess there were hassels, so I do see your point. Surely there were no convictions. How else would they have caught him unless they had the two different test for comparisons? I doubt he would have just volunteered without the evidence to support the accusation.

He didn't sound like a bad cop to me, maybe just one that is fed up with drunks under the wheel. I'll try to do better next time:)

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