COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan first raised questions about the fitness to serve of Adam Coy to serve 12 years ago.
Coy shot and killed an unarmed Andre’ Hill last week.
Coy was fired from the police force Monday, with Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. upholding a recommendation from Quinlan and Mayor Andrew Ginther. In his report to terminate Coy, which was made public Tuesday, Quinlan recounted an incident for which Coy was placed on a performance improvement plan.
“In a letter I wrote in 2008 while Officer Coy’s Patrol Lieutenant I made the following observations about Officer Coy: ‘If sustained improvements are not fully realized a decision whether Officer Coy is salvageable must follow. Should the interventions described above not produce the desired results a shift towards termination would be warranted, as Officer Coy’s service to the Division of Police will have lost all future value.'”
Quinlan wrote that he recalled that letter when investigating Coy’s actions in the shooting of Hill on Dec. 22.
“Today, I can state unequivocally Officer Coy has no future value to the Division of Police and should be terminated,” Quinlan stated.
Quinlan was asked through a police representative how the situation from 2012 was resolved. The response:
“In 2008, then-Lt. Quinlan (now Chief) did what he had the authority to do at the time. He sent forward his observations and concerns. Then-Officer Coy was placed on performance improvement plan, which he successfully completed. He showed improvement.
“In 2012, he was investigated for Use of Force, and received discipline of a 160-hour suspension.
“Under the police contract (Collective Bargaining Agreement with the FOP,) the Division’s ability to use progressive discipline is limited. Per the contract, after a certain period of time, discipline records must be purged, preventing the Division from considering prior misconduct when assessing current misconduct.
“This is a weakness in the contract identified by the Safety Advisory Commission seated by Mayor Ginther. The Commission recommended keeping all misconduct in an officer’s file for the duration of his or her tenure with the Division of Police. Chief Quinlan agrees, and fully supports that call for change in the current contract negotiations with FOP.”