The West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office ended the employment of two of its deputies as discipline for misconduct, one by termination and the other by resignation.
Maj. Zack Simmers, the public information officer for the WBRSO, said Dpy. George Bowen misplaced the service weapon he was issued by the department and was terminated.
The other terminated deputy, David Smith, got on the radio and said he was ready to work in West Baton Rouge but was discovered to have never left East Baton Rouge.
"Bowen was called to the training division to swap out his older service weapon for a new weapon," Major Zack Simmers said. "He did not have it, but he looked for it, found it, light was shed and it had been missing for some time."
Eventually, Bowen located the weapon, but not before he started using a different weapon that he had not qualified for. Bowen had a prior disciplinary action for getting into a crash in a sheriff's unit in Dallas, Texas, when he was attending a funeral for a fallen officer in 2016.
Smith had prior discipline as well.
Last year, he crashed into a pole at a Walmart in West Baton Rouge Parish last year. He was administered a breathalyzer which showed he had alcohol in his system, but was not at a level high enough considered legally drunk. He received a 30-day suspension for the incident.
On Jan. 2, Smith called in to the sheriff's office saying he was ready for his work day and would take calls, but the GPS on his car showed he never left Baton Rouge that day.
"We called him in and when we called him in he had his resignation letter and had he not resigned he would have been terminated also," Simmers said.
Simmers said this discipline should send a message.
"We want to be as transparent as possible," Simmers said. "We have zero tolerance for misbehavior around here. A minor violation, you will be disciplined and not terminated. But, we don't consider these minor violations. It's 2020, we are stepping up and the good are not going to suffer for the bad anymore."