Police chief acknowledges officer needs DUI training - CBS46 News

Police chief acknowledges officer needs DUI training

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CBS46 uncovered new information about a small town police officer facing numerous accusations of questionable DUI arrests. 

Statham Police Chief Allan Johnston acknowledged that Officer Marc Lofton needs additional DUI training.

“Prescription drug cases are hard to make,” Johnston said.  “We can all use extra training in every area.”

Lofton is accused of making false DUI arrests with people taking prescription medication. The Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia investigated the cases and found "…significant errors in several of the DUI-Drug investigations."

Kendra Moore is the organizer of the Concerned Citizens of Statham group and said the state’s report is extremely troubling.

“I think it validates all of the claims we made,” Moore said.  “If it wasn’t for the concerned citizens in this community and the victims coming forward and digging into this, it would still be happening.” 

The report goes on to say, "It is important that Officer Lofton receive additional training if he intends to continue making DUI cases, especially where prescription drugs are involved."

So CBS46 asked Johnston if Officer Lofton will receive training before making any more DUI drug related traffic stops.

“Absolutely,” Johnston said.

The Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council Recommended that Lofton take an Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement Class, also called ARIDE.

We asked the police chief if Lofton had ever taken the ARIDE course before.

“As far as I know he has,” Johnston said. “He didn’t pass it.”

Johnston said Officer Lofton failed the training course while working for a prior law enforcement agency. So he plans to have him try again.

“I’m pleased with his response on that take, but it’s troubling at the same time to me because you knew he didn’t have the training to begin with and you were letting him make those stops,” Moore said.

CBS46 checked with Lofton’s prior employer, Winder Police, and they said Lofton did not take the ARIDE drug class while working for them. Instead, they said he took a Lidar Speed Measurement radar course and failed that while working for their department.

Winder police said records show Lofton signed up for ARIDE drug training in April 2016 while working for the Statham Police Department and then withdrew from the course.

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