MILLERSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Two high-ranking officers in the Millersville Police Department are gone.
Chief David Hindman was fired Monday, and his second in command, Lt. John Brown, resigned.
The chief told News 2 he never saw it coming. He went in to work Monday and got the ax.
“I’m devastated. I feel like I was terminated without cause and due process. The city charter says she has the right to hire and terminate at will, and that is wrong,” Hindman said.
In an exclusive interview an hour after the termination, he said he would have celebrated his two-year anniversary as the chief next month.
“My hopes were to retire from Millersville. That’s what I hoped to do. I want to say I brought better rapport between citizens and the community. We talked to citizens and kids and tried to make relations better. Millersville was accused of being a speed trap, and we worked on that, started writing good tickets,” Hindman told News 2.
Hindman says he developed new policies and got the city to buy the officers new equipment.
When asked how his firing will be viewed in the community, he believes many will be upset.
His second in command, Lt. Brown, resigned from the police department, telling News 2 he’s relieved and ready to get on with a new chapter in his life.
According to Hindman, Brown publicly said some inappropriate things about city manager Caryn Miller on Friday, having to do with her micro-managing style.
Hindman said he had spoken to Brown and was in the process of dealing with the issue, but Monday morning it spun out of control with the city manager.
“I said, ‘I am not resigning. I have nothing to resign for or be terminated,’” Hindman recalled. “She said, ‘You have lost control of your department.’”
City Manager Miller told News 2 it was more than that, and the chief was not the right person for the job.
“It’s unfortunate I had to take the action I took with David. It’s been coming for quite a while. It is not just because of one incident. There are several incidents behind this, and I had to make a decision,” Miller explained.
She added, “He is not the right person for this department and I had to let him go.”
With the chief and lieutenant gone and another officer leaving to go to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the 13-man department will soon down to 10.
“At this point, we are looking for another chief, and I will put an ad out for another officer… and we will move on,” Miller said.
To the citizens, Miller says, “I say to my citizens, ‘Don’t worry. You are in good hands still. We will move on and the department will provide the services you deserve.’”
Miller also told News 2 the Millersville sergeants will supervise the officers and report to her as administrator.
In his almost two years, Hindman said he is proud of the work he did in Millersville, bringing a sense of professionalism to the department and opening up honest lines of communication with the community.
When asked what he would say to his former boss, Hindman said, “She made a mistake. She let her feelings and anger outweigh the proper decision. She made a decision when she was mad, when she was angry.”
Hindman has been in law enforcement for 32 years. He says he will seek employment somewhere else.
He is also planning on talking to a lawyer about his termination.
Hindman replaced Ronnie Williams, who left the department after allegations a KKK magazine was placed in a black officer’s departmental mailbox. That lawsuit is ongoing.
Williams then became a police detective in Fairview, Tennessee, but resigned after he was arrested in a Metro-Nashville prostitution sting.