CENTERVILLE, Ga. — Law enforcement officers are given immense power. They make decisions every day that can change lives forever.

For that reason, many expect those who apply to protect and serve to be held to the highest standard at all times.

A 13WMAZ investigation reveals that, in Centerville, that might not always be the case...and there were plenty of warning lights.

-----

A Houston County 911 dispatch call recording is where this story starts. A man is on the line with a dispatcher and in the background you can hear a woman yelling.

"You're hurting me, you're hurting me," she says. "Stop!"

The call is from March 31. 13WMAZ got a copy of it through an open records request.

It came during what police reports called a "domestic dispute" between Kenny Bibiloni and a woman in his home.

The dispatcher asks Bibiloni, "Are you holding her down?" He responds, "No, I'm not hurting her."

The dispatcher repeats herself, "I asked were you holding her down?"

Bibiloni says "I'm a police officer. I have her in handcuffs."

At the time, Kenny Bibiloni was a Centerville Police officer, but that argument happened at his Perry home. That's important because a Centerville Police internal affairs investigation said Bibiloni was supposed to be on duty in Centerville that night.

Instead, documents from that investigation say Bibiloni left his jurisdiction and headed for Perry "without telling anyone."

The argument escalated and according to the investigation and 911 call recording, Bibiloni eventually put the woman in handcuffs.

"Take these handcuffs off of me," she yelled.

In that same recording, Bibiloni says he cuffed her to protect her from herself. He eventually requested Perry Police come to the house.

The police report says Perry officers later left the scene. No one was charged.

The internal affairs investigation found that by leaving Centerville, Bibiloni abandoned his job and duty assignment, left "Jurisdictional Limits While on Duty," and "lied to a supervisor."

He was suspended without pay on April 9 and resigned nine days later. It was not the first time Bibiloni left a department in connection with an investigation.

Turn the clock back to summer 2017. Georgia's Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (P.O.S.T.) is the group that accredits all Georgia law enforcement officers and tracks them throughout their careers.

Their records say Bibiloni resigned from the Warner Robins Police Department "in lieu of termination" on July 21, 2017.

Warner Robins records allege he failed to show up for duty and was insubordinate. Less than a month later, the Centerville Police Department hired him.

Documents show he was part of a trend in the Centerville Police Department of hiring officers with a history of workplace discipline.

Christopher Willcox is currently a Centerville Police corporal, but according to his personnel file, he left the Fort Valley Police Department in 2014.

According to P.O.S.T., a Fort Valley Police internal affairs investigation found that he "wasn't completely truthful" on an incident report and "violated policy" during a traffic stop. Two and a half years later, Centerville hired him.

He earned the department's medal of valor for his actions in an April 2018 shootout, but three months later, he found himself the target of another internal affairs investigation after Tasing a handcuffed man three times.

The report determined that the man was "no threat to officers" and Willcox "overreacted."

It goes on to say "there is no reason, other than physical violence by a suspect or a life-threatening maneuver by the suspect to use the Taser on a handcuffed suspect." 

The man, according to the report, "never showed any form of physical resistance other than laying on the ground refusing to get up."

Willcox got a written reprimand for the incident and still works for Centerville.

The trend continues with a third officer.

He used to work for the Warner Robins Police Department (WRPD), but records show he was fired in 2017 after made his second "false arrest."

Centerville Police hired him less than a month after he was terminated from WRPD. Personnel records in Centerville show he has not faced any internal affairs investigations since joining his new department.

-----

The Centerville Police Department is relatively small. A recent roster lists 21 officers to protect the city.

At one point, the three officers made up more than 10% of the force and they all had documented workplace discipline on their records before the department hired them.

When 13WMAZ asked why they were hired, Centerville Police Chief Chuck Hadden wouldn't talk about it.

"We're not going to talk about personnel matters," he said. When asked if he wanted to elaborate on that, his answer was simple, "No."

He wouldn't talk about the reprimands some of them received while with Centerville either. When asked if they were foreseeable, given the officers' prior records, his answer was brief.

"Not talking about personnel matters," said Hadden.

Hadden did say all of his applicants are thoroughly vetted and all of the officers he's hired were in good standing with P.O.S.T.

"Speaking generally, police officers get fired everyday just like newscasters, reporters...people make mistakes," he said. "It's up to P.O.S.T. to say whether that person is still able to be a police officer. That is the basis we go off of."

Centerville Police Captain Billy Boney, who sat in on our interview, summarized things like this.

"We're going to hire the most qualified, best officers that we can find," he said. "If they've had a glitch in their career (and) after we look at them and talk to them, we may say, 'Well, let's give it a chance.' We've done that a couple of times. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't."

When asked if he has full confidence in all of his officers, Chief Hadden said yes.

When reached by phone, Kenny Bibiloni declined to comment for this story.

Christopher Willcox told 13WMAZ over the phone that his issues at the Fort Valley Police Department happened years ago, and he noted the Medal of Valor he was awarded while working for Centerville.

He didn't add anything else, saying he wasn't supposed to talk to the press without a supervisor's permission.

MORE WARNING LIGHTS:

PART 2: 'If there's not enough of us out there... we can't protect everyone'

PART 3: How can we fix the statewide law enforcement shortage?