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Sheriff Davis: Crooked cops "disheartening"

Macon-Bibb sheriff David Davis says he saw red flags in the past for four former officers now facing federal charges.

They are Jermaine Hill, Decarlo Lattimore, Arthur Howard and Jimmy Denson.

On Friday, Davis, along with U.S. Attorney Michael Moore, announced the four face various charges, including theft of government money and attempted extortion.

In an interview with 13WMAZ today, Davis declined to discuss further details of the officers' backgrounds.

"It's always disheartening and it's always hurtful whenever officers do get outside the bounds of the right thing to do and besmirch all of us," Davis said. "I'm not going to have them ruining my reputation or ruining the reputation of the sheriff's office."

Davis said Hill faced an internal affairs investigation in 2010 but that investigators didn't find enough evidence to take action.

He also said Howard had problems in his time with Macon police.

He says though he enforces internal rules and doesn't tolerate those who break them, this is a case where he had to "police the police."

"We'll look at some of our policies and procedures but it's already a policy not to steal from somebody and it's already a policy not to jack drug dealers so you just make sure your policies and your guidelines are followed," he said.

But he says these four officers broke those rules and broke his trust.

We asked him today about the possibility they mishandled other calls they responded to, like traffic stops, or cases involving drugs.

"If it was a situation where they stopped a car, found drugs in the car and took the drugs and then sent the driver on his way, you might not ever know that. Certainly if someone was affected or knows of that is gonna tell us, but how many dope dealers are going to call us and say, 'Your officer took my drugs away from me'?"

Davis says he's had to discipline, fire and even prosecute a good number of officers in the past.

"If I told you I enjoyed doing that, I wouldn't be human, and it wouldn't be a good way to run my office but I will tell you that I will do it, I have done it, and I will continue to do it if our officers are not doing what they are supposed to do," he said.

The four ex-officers are expected in court July 30.

Hill is scheduled to be sentenced October 15.

We also tried to get records of internal investigations and backgrounds for each of the officers.

They were not available today.

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