LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) – UPDATE: T. Leigh Hearn-Rushton, an attorney representing Officer Lockard, has released a statement on the matter, which can be read below.
“I represent Officer Jess Lockard in the matter regarding his employment with the Lebanon Police Department. Officer Lockard is an exemplary employee with a stellar record in law enforcement with both Lebanon and Metro Nashville Police Departments. It is disappointing that accusations have arisen and Officer Lockard is being tried inaccurately via the media. We believe the facts will show Officer Lockard did not violate city or department policy. Disappointingly, these accusations are also made at a time when it has never been more difficult to serve as a police officer. We look forward to a speedy resolution to this situation so that Officer Lockard may continue to serve the citizens of Lebanon, Tennessee.
T. Leigh Hearn-Rushton”
ORIGINAL: One officer has resigned and another remains on administrative leave after comments they made on Facebook.
The Lebanon Police Department said Chief Mike Justice was notified Wednesday of allegations that two officers may have violated the department’s social media policy.
Officer Jesse Lockard reportedly posted, “So the Pentagon and Obama just lifted the ban on the mentally ill (transgendered) serving in the military. Just another nail in our coffin.”
Officer Nikki Hesson allegedly responded with, “Rape will fix that.”
Both officers were placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, but Hesson later tendered her resignation around noon Thursday, and it was accepted by the department.
“While our department respects the rights of our employees to freedom of speech, all employees of the Lebanon Police Department are held to a higher standard of conduct,” authorities said in a press release.