Lovett gave police badges to civilians - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Lovett gave police badges to civilians

Posted: Updated:
  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • Candidates for gov, US Senate to speak in ag forum

    Candidates for gov, US Senate to speak in ag forum

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:18 AM EDT2014-08-27 15:18:52 GMT
    Illinois' candidates for governor and U.S. Senate are expected to outline their views on agricultural issues at a forum later in the day.
    Illinois' candidates for governor and U.S. Senate are expected to outline their views on agricultural issues at a forum later in the day.
  • Military court to hear appeal in fragging attack

    Military court to hear appeal in fragging attack

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:17 AM EDT2014-08-27 15:17:00 GMT
    A former Fort Campbell soldier sentenced to death for killing two fellow soldiers and injuring 14 others in a fragging attack in Kuwait will get a hearing before a military appeals court.
    A former Fort Campbell soldier sentenced to death for killing two fellow soldiers and injuring 14 others in a fragging attack in Kuwait will get a hearing before a military appeals court.
  • 'Remembering Our Fallen' exhibit comes to Wappapello

    'Remembering Our Fallen' exhibit comes to Wappapello

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:09 AM EDT2014-08-27 15:09:43 GMT
    A special exhibit to remember the men and women who gave their all in The War on Terror will be on display at the Bill Emerson Memorial Visitor Center at Wappapello Lake from Aug. 27 until Labor Day. 
    A special exhibit to remember the men and women who gave their all in The War on Terror will be on display at the Bill Emerson Memorial Visitor Center at Wappapello Lake from Aug. 27 until Labor Day. 
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The badge – it's the ultimate symbol of police authority. And former Chief Willie Lovett's decision to give badges to two civilians is raising questions among Savannahians.

"There's authority that goes with that badge," said Rolfe Glover, chairman of the Mayor's public safety task force. "Was that authority used? Did they try to, essentially, act as a police officer?"

Lovett's badge gifts came to light this week after an attorney for former Tybee police officer Stacy Talbert sent a letter to Tybee and to the city of Savannah claiming she'd been fired after pulling over Lovett's friend, car dealer Jay Kaminsky, and arresting him for driving under the influence.

Tybee denies that's why Talbert was fired.

A camera attached to Talbert's uniform during Kaminsky's arrest shows the car dealer flashing a Savannah-Chatham Metro Police badge right after being pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence.

A WTOC reporter went to Lovett's home Monday to find out where Kaminsky got the badge. Lovett said the badge was marked "civilian advisor" and that he'd given it to Kaminsky for serving as Lovett's Jewish cultural advisor.

Asked if he'd given out any other badges, Lovett said he had, to another car dealer, also for serving as his Jewish cultural advisor.

Glover said that in his years on the public safety task force, he never met Kaminsky.

Georgia has no law against law enforcement officers giving out badges to civilians.

But according to Ken Vance, Executive Director, Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, when civilians try to use that badge, say to get out of a traffic stop, they can be arrested.

"Really, what you're doing is you're impersonating a law enforcement officer," Vance said.

WTOC tried to get a look at those badges, but Kaminsky died last year, and his family said they didn't know he had a police badge. The car dealer who got the second badge was out of the country Monday.

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.