In Worth News today: A Warwick Police Officer is allegedly caught in the act of shoplifting; the Worth County Fire/Rescue Chief resigns after being approached by the Board of Commissioners’ Chairman and District- 1 Commissioner before 8 A.M. this morning; this and more below:
Warwick Police Officer Charlette Anne Jennings, 38, of Moultrie was jailed in Colquitt County over the weekend after being taken into custody by Moultrie Police.
Jennings is accused of attempting to shoplift items from a Belk’s store in Moultrie located just a mile from Jennings’ home.
Warwick’s newly assigned Chief, David Morris, told the Moultrie Observer earlier this week the department’s part-time officer will continue her duties as usual pending guilt in court. “Until then she’s innocent,” he stated per the article.
The news report in Moultrie indicates Jennings removed tags from several items within the store. But the MPD report indicates over $600 of merchandise was stolen and recovered as well.
At nearly 5 P.M. Saturday MPD Officer Ray Juan responded to the call regarding a female shoplifter. Loss Prevention Officer Gary Ethridge was on scene with the suspect attempting to detain her. As Officer Juan was en route, Colquitt 911 advised him the suspect was resisting and fighting Ethridge.
Upon arrival at the store, Officer Juan reports the LPO had the suspect detained. Ethridge told police he saw Ms. Jennings removing tags from several items in the store. He also stated that she had changed purses while inside the store.
Jennings was searched and the MPD report lists several jewelry items totaling over $300 in value, perfume valued at $65, Rosetti Purse – $75, and more apparently in her possession.
Officer Juan returned to the store today (Wednesday) to follow up with LPO Ethridge. The report indicates Officer Juan collected copies of at least two additional statements from store employees regarding the incident.
The LPO has not yet released the items listed in the report to Moultrie Police evidence, according to the report document. Warwick Chief Morris did not return our call today as of this posting.
Jennings was taken into custody on Saturday and released on a $1500 bond the following Monday.
Photo: Courtesy Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office
County Fire/Rescue Chief Resigns
Upon learning of Worth County Fire/Rescue Chief Jason Brooks’ resignation this morning, Worthit2u.net attempted to verify the information through several officials, each referring us to contact Board of Commissioners Chairman Matt Medders. BOC Chairman Medders is consistent with never returning our calls and today (Wednesday) was no exception.
The BOC has been divided for several months on the management of the WCFR department, specifically the Chief and Assistant Chief, calling for the termination of both, the termination of one and relocating the other into another county job position, etc. following complaints from within the department. No action was ever taken however due to agreement not reached between the board members.
Commissioner Billy McDonald was returning from an appointment in Albany this afternoon and was unaware Brooks had resigned. After McDonald returned to the BOC office he said he did have a letter in his personal box dated today, March 7th, informing him in further detail of Brooks’ standing. The paper was apparently copy of a letter sent by Chairman Matt Medders to Chief Brooks’ attention.
“It has come to the attention of the Board of County Commissioners due to recent involvement in matters involving domestic violence… may warrant disciplinary action including your dismissal pending resolution at this time,” Commissioner McDonald reads. “’You are hereby placed on administrative leave with pay. You may wish to resolve these issues by submitting your resignation or you may request a hearing’; and he submitted his resignation,” McDonald said.
Commissioner McDonald, who is responsible for overseeing WCFR issues, said the incident in question occurring over the weekend, apparently involving a female, had not been discussed at the most recent BOC Workshop and this decision had not been voted on.
Reportedly an interim is not in place and former Chief Lyn Ford, who was demoted to Assistant Chief as Brooks was promoted to Chief, is currently supervising the department.
Attempts to reach Brooks for comment were unsuccessful.