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Chief quits board over Ga. recruit death

The Associated Press

KENNESAW, Ga.- The Kennesaw police chief has resigned from the advisory board of an academy where one of his recruits was accidentally killed and says his department will no longer send police recruits there for training.

Kennesaw Police Chief Tim Callahan said his decision is a response to how the North Central Georgia Law Enforcement Academy handled the shooting death of Tara Drummond, a recruit with the police department.

Callahan said he specifically did not like the way academy director Dr. Carole Morgan handled the situation.

"I was extremely dissatisfied with the lack of responsibility and accountability that Dr. Morgan exhibited during the Drummond incident," he said.

Drummond, 23, was accidentally shot to death during firearms training last September by her instructor, Cobb County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Albert Jackson. Jackson had placed what he thought were "dummy rounds" in his gun and pointed it at Drummond. But a round went off, hitting Drummond in the chest.

Callahan announced his resignation in an Aug. 24 letter sent to the advisory board.

Callahan said he blames Morgan's inexperience for the academy's failure to enforce safety policies.

"Although Dr. Morgan has been a friend of mine for close to 20 years, I feel that her lack of actual practicing law-enforcement experience greatly impairs her ability to effectively direct the academy, and especially those areas of high liability like firearms, drivers training and defensive tactics," Callahan said.

Some changes have been made at the academy since the shooting.

Recruits there must now wear body armor during firearms training and a safety officer must be on site to monitor firearms exercises. The academy also is forming a safety review committee and strengthening its policies and procedures.

In the meantime, Callahan said he has not decided where to send future Kennesaw police recruits for basic training.

"We are presently exploring possibilities now," he said. "The city manager and city government of Kennesaw are aware of this and support my decision."

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