If Elvis is still
alive, he’s out of luck – his chances of being a part of the Tennessee Highway
Patrol have disappeared.
On Monday, Tennessee
Gov. Phil Bredesen told the patrol to stop issuing “honorary captain” photo ID
cards and badges to supporters. The honorary badges had been given to
politicans, campaign donors and celebrities for more than 30 years, the Tennessean reported.
badges – which bear a striking resemblance real state troopers’ insignia – came
under fire this week after an expose in the Tennessean on Sunday, Aug.
reported that 360 people had received the badges since 2002, 19 of whom are
current or past staffers for the governor. Two badgeholders in the program –
which had no eligibility criteria, application process or background checks – were found to have criminal records.
“I had no notion how
extensive it was and how far it went back,” Bredesen told the Tennessean.
Many believe the
program was a secretive way for high-profile citizens to stay out of trouble with
“It’s the message
that it sends to citizens that there’s a different set of rules,” David Raybin,
attorney for the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police, told The Associated
Press. “There’s some who get get-out-of-jail-free card.”