Mayor announces third-party review of Johnson City Police Department after federal suit filed
Johnson City Mayor Cathy Ball says a third-party review will be conducted into the operation of the police department and Chief Karl Turner following a suit filed in federal court against the agency.
Turner is named in the suit brought by Assistant US Attorney Kat Dahl who claims funding for her job at the department was cut by Turner following Dahl’s examination of a former business owner nicknamed Robert Voe who Dahl claims drugged and raped a number of women then left the city.
The mayor said in a statement that their internal review has not determined any of the allegations to be founded. She also noted the US Marshals Service is involved in the search for Voe.
Here is the statement from Ball released by city offices:
“It is understandable that some in our community may be alarmed by recent allegations against the Johnson City Police Department. Serious allegations have been made, and we ask that everyone reserve judgment until all the facts can be presented. Our internal investigation thus far has not determined any of the allegations to be founded but, as is standard practice for investigations related to law enforcement, we will be requesting a third-party review by an external agency to determine if any actions by the Johnson City Police Department were inconsistent with acceptable practice in law enforcement.
“Questions have arisen about the Department’s handling of sexual assault cases and particularly those related to “Robert Voe.” Please know: the Johnson City Police Department and the City of Johnson City take violent crimes and sexual assault very seriously. It is important to note that victims of sexual assault face a tremendously difficult choice in pursuing charges against an attacker. The Police Department operates a Family Justice Center that assists victims of domestic and sexual violence in a confidential and sensitive manner. We encourage anyone who has suffered the physical and emotional trauma of such assault to please contact the FJC at 423-722-3720.
“The Johnson City Police Department, along with the U.S. Marshals Service, continues to search for the person believed to be Mr. Voe and asks that anyone with information about his whereabouts please contact the department, anonymously if preferred, using any of the methods that can be found on our website at www.JohnsonCityTN.org/Police.
“We have confidence in our Police Department and want our citizens to as well. We promise to be transparent and accountable. The JCPD has met 450+ professional standards since 1993 to maintain national accreditation. The integrity of our officers is of utmost importance, and we would never tolerate corruption in our organization.”
(IMAGE: Bristol Broadcasting Co News Archive)