The store is closed, at least temporarily,
police officers hoping to make a purchase on a controversial government-run Web
On Friday, Jan. 13, the Nashville Police
Department banned all of its 1,700 employees from making purchases on eBid –
the department’s online auction site for seized and confiscated items – until
an investigation into possible wrongdoing could be investigated.
The probe comes after area newspaper The Tennessean found that at least 28
employees had made 148 purchases on the site. Although purchasing by officers
isn’t expressly forbidden, a policy forbidding any employee who “has personal
or first-hand information regarding the condition of any item available for
auction” was in place at the time.
“The prohibition against police employees
purchasing items sold through eBid is to help ensure that the police department
remains above reproach, in that, from time to time, a variety of items sold
through eBid come through the department,” Police Chief Ronal Serpas said in a
memo to the patrol, according to The
Problems with eBid first surfaced after Col. Lynn Pitts, former head and highest-ranking
uniform officer of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, resigned after it was found
that he purchased a boat through the Web site, which violated policy.
The ban is the latest in a string of scandals
state and local police forces, which have been repeatedly uncovered by The Tennessean. The newspaper has
uncovered more than a dozen incidents, with allegations ranging from sexual
misconduct to high-level cronyism.