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Commissioner questions drug agent's status

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January 15, 2008

Albany - An Albany city commissioner questions the position of an Albany Drug unit officer involved in two car chases, one that ended in the death of two people. Apparently concerned about the city being sued, Tuesday, Commissioner Tommy Postell asked Drug Unit Commander Derrell Smith how officers are disciplined.

Though he never referred to him by name, he questioned what steps were being taken in the investigation of Corporal Gary Price who was behind the wheel during a high-speed chase that ended in a fatal crash in June and was involved in another chase in November. Major Smith only has authority to recommend a suspension of up to five days to the Commanding Agency, in this case, APD.

City Manager Al Lott said he and Chief James Younger are reviewing the case. He said, "The drug unit commander, if someone allegedly violates a rule or regulation, makes a recommendation to our Chief of police and then based on our personal management system, we take it from there."

The family of a young Lee County man killed in the June crash in which Price was involved has served notice that they will sue the city and county for his death.

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