Meridian, Miss. A group of Meridian firefighters and a police officer are facing the consequences after using a stun gun on each other - a misuse of city property and serious violation of the departments' policies. The incident happened the weekend of July 4, when one police officer loaned a stun gun to a group of firefighters.
"Why this particular officer decided to let their weapon be used, I can't begin to understand that," Meridian Police Chief Benny Dubose says.
The firefighters used their own cartridges, and willingly took turns using the weapon on one another.
"We as a fire dept. dropped the ball," Meridian Fire Chief Anthony Clayton says. "I say 'we' because even though this is bad, we are still the fire dept. We have put this behind us and we are moving forward."
After an investigation, Chief Clayton informed the mayor and handed out his punishment. Reprimands to three firefighters: the battalion chief, the number one captain and the rescue captain, who was demoted to basic captain and reassigned to another shift. He says his officers were reprimanded because it was their responsibility to keep the firefighters in line.
Although Chief Clayton's punishments have already been enforced, Police Chief Benny Dubose says he's still waiting on approval from city hall. He's not saying what that punishment will be yet. However Dubose does advise that any time an officer allows another person to handle his or her weapons, that is a very serious offense.
"It is a defensive weapon that's used to subdue our combative people, and it's not something that you play around with," Chief Dubose says.
Dubose says only one officer was involved and is now just waiting for his or her punishment to be approved.