Commission upholds policeman’s firing

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 27, 2002

[09/27/02]The firing of a Vicksburg Police officer accused of lying about a wreck involving a fellow officer was upheld in an order made public Thursday.

Darryl Floyd, who was fired June 10 by the city’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen on the recommendation of Police Chief Tommy Moffett, had been a police officer for about two years.

He was fired, Moffett and city attorney Walterine Langford argued, for maintaining that he heard a siren coming from the car of a fellow officer before that officer wrecked on Monroe Street near police headquarters on Veto Street.

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The fellow officer, Joe Shows, initially said he had his siren on before impact, but later recanted that story. Witnesses at Wednesday’s appeal hearing before the Vicksburg Civil Service Commission said they were outside the police building and did not hear the siren.

Floyd’s attorney, Michael Winfield, argued his client had maintained his story because he thought he heard the siren coming from the other officer’s car, which testimony indicated was traveling eight to 10 car lengths behind his.

Both officers were headed to an emergency call and should have had their lights and sirens on, Moffett said.

Shows was disciplined but allowed to remain on the force.

The commission’s order said Floyd “failed to establish that the Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s decision to terminate him was for political or religious reasons.”

The commission is empowered to review hiring, firing and promotion or demotion matters for Vicksburg police and firefighters. Its charge is to determine whether decisions were validly based on job performance or were for political or popularity reasons.

In other business during its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, the commission:

Concurred 3-0 with proposed changes to the one-year time period allowed for entry-level firefighters to complete emergency medical technician training.

Agreed 3-0 to extend probationary status for three firefighters to June 1, 2003, to allow them to complete their EMT training and remain with the department.

Heard a request from Capt. Sam Smith and another firefighter that certain questions on a recently administered written promotional exam be reviewed. Chairman Joe Graham asked that the firefighters submit their complaints in writing by Oct. 7. The commission would then forward them to the testing company with the request that their complaints be reviewed, he said.