New Coopertown Police Chief to Bring Big Changes - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

New Coopertown Police Chief to Bring Big Changes

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by Emily Luxen

COOPERTOWN, Tenn.- Big changes could be coming to the Coopertown Police Department courtesy of a new police chief.

Law enforcement veteran from Hickman County, Shane Sullivan, took over as chief in November.  His new approach is already making an impact.

"I want to close the gap between the department and the public," said Chief Sullivan. "We need to do more community oriented policing, neighborhood watch, be in the school system, that sort of thing."

The biggest change Sullivan plans to make, is to require all new officer candidates to take lie detector tests.  He did the same during his job interview.

"Once I went through the polygraph, I thought this is something I would like to see officers get because sometimes you misjudge someone's character," said Sullivan.

Sullivan said he hopes the change helps attract stronger officers and prevent scandals like the department experienced last year.

Last summer, a reserve officer was caught on tape using a racial slur after stopping a black motorist.  The officer was fired, the police chief quit, and the small department temporarily shut down.  This came after the town made national headlines for being a speed trap.  Sullivan said he wants the community to know the past is over.

"It looks better every day, it absolutely does," said Sullivan. "I hope the department will continue to grow."

Sullivan said he hopes to hire an additional full-time officer in the near future.  He said he has already received several applications.

Sullivan is the police department's 11th chief in 11 years.

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