DeKalb police create unit to investigate officer misconduct

by: Erica Byfield Updated:

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - The DeKalb Police Department has created a specialized unit to investigate alleged officer misconduct.

Chief William O'Brien told Channel 2 Action News that he and Director of Public Safety William Miller decided after Blake Norwood, Arthur Parker and Anthony Robinson were indicted in May for allegedly beating handcuffed teenage suspects, they had to make a change.

"We added a sergeant and two detectives to primarily dig into serious allegations of officer misconduct," O'Brien said.

The three-person unit now operates under the Internal Affairs umbrella.

Within the last year, at least seven officers were arrested on charges ranging from theft, to domestic violence, to rape.

"I think it's a needed team," O'Brien said.

Since its creation in early June, the unit has dug into several high profile cases.

For example, the investigation into alleged stolen property at Capt. Suzanne Kaulbach's Clayton County home. DeKalb police fired Kaulbach in late July.

Another investigation involved Sgt. Jerry Banks. The veteran officer was arrested in May on charges of obstruction. Investigators said Banks interfered with the investigation into who assaulted his wife. Leaders fired Banks late Tuesday.

One more case involves DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson.

Allegedly, Watson was drunk and drove his car away from a bar in front of several officers, but was not given a breathalyzer test or arrested.

The President of DeKalb's Fraternal Order told Channel 2 he believes the department was forced to create the unit because DeKalb lowered its hiring standards.