Chief puts ‘Kirk out’ of Hutchins PD
By 11/28/2002 00:00:00
HUTCHINS - Kirk here. Kirk out. No. Not Captain Kirk. But Corporal Kirk.
Scotty did not beem him up or out. The force, however, is no longer with him.
Or rather, he's no longer with the force.
Hutchins Police Chief Greg Griffin terminated Aubrey Kirk's position as an uniformed officer with the department Oct. 2, stemming from an incident occurring Sept. 26 this year.
Griffin had said he would make a disciplinary decision on Sept. 30.
City council unanimously agreed on a 5-0 vote to deny an appeal by Kirk and support Griffin's decision during a regular meeting Monday night, Nov. 18 at city hall.
Kirk waived his right to an executive session, which would have been a closed meeting consisting to those directly involved in the incident and council.
Instead, statements from those involved were heard in an open forum.
Statements from communication personnel Tim Littleton and David Smith, Officer Bill Adams, Assistant Police Chief David Landers, Kirk and Griffin were consistent on what had occurred on Sept. 26.
On that date about 1:45 p.m., Griffin overheard Kirk tell Littleton to leave with him to transport a prisoner to Dallas County's Lew Sterrett Justice Center in downtown Dallas.
Griffin said he told Kirk that Littleton's shift didn't end until 2 p.m.
The chief said Kirk went out to the car, came back later and said something in a disgusting manner.
Griffin said he needed to see Kirk in his office.
Kirk refused, saying he might say something that would get him fired.
Griffin told Kirk to go on and take his prisoner to Dallas.
Considered an exemplary police officer for 12 years in Hutchins, Kirk said he was the only officer on duty Sept. 26.
Kirk said it had been an extremely long, hard day.
He said he didn't go into Griffin's office, but instead walked away because he needed to cool off.
Kirk also said he didn't feel the chief was giving him a direct order from his tone of voice and calling him Aubrey, rather than Corporal Kirk.
'It was only five minutes to two [o'clock], it shouldn't be that bad,' Kirk said about telling Littleton to leave with him. 'I asked Tim to come on. I thought I was trying to save time. I knew I had an individual [prisoner] who wasn't all there. He thought I was Charlie Waters when I arrested him.'
Waters is a former football player with the Dallas Cowboys.
Kirk and Griffin had worked together for nearly 11 years.
'We've had our moments, we worked past them,' Kirk said. 'Chief Griffin was the most important person to me in the department. He trained me. I know he's chief of police. I've never doubted that. The reason I didn't go in his office was I thought he might chew on me a little bit more.'
Kirk said he had intended to explain his actions to Griffin after he returned to the Hutchins station from taking his prisoner to Dallas.
'Even if I was guilty of insubordination, I don't feel I should be terminated,' Kirk said. 'I've tried to call chief to apologize. If I could take it back, I would.
'As a chief he did what he thought was in the best interest of the department. I told him people make mistakes.'
Councilman Robert Gross said the police department ran on a regimented chain of command.
'You've been an exemplary officer,' Gross told Kirk. 'I'm sorry it's all come down to this.
'If we decide to let you come back to work we're not telling the chief he runs his department. He has the right to terminate you. He's police chief and he has the council's backing. If we put you back to work we're not giving chief our full support.'
'We can't have people who do not follow directives,' Councilwoman Rhenett Gardner said. 'If you can get by with this, everyone else can get by with this.'
Several citizens spoke on Kirk's behalf and urged for he and Griffin to meet to work it out where Kirk could return to the force.
The council threw its support behind Griffin unanimously in his decision, but left an opening if he and Kirk agreed to meet to work it out where Kirk could return to work here.