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Trooper Resigns from THP Following Domestic Assault Charge

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security; September 19, 2014:

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott announced Friday that a Tennessee state trooper in the Fall Branch District resigned from the department in lieu of termination following an internal investigation into an arrest on domestic assault charges.

The Johnson City Police Department charged Trooper Russel Holtsclaw, 28, with aggravated domestic assault on August 10 following a reported incident at his residence. The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) placed Holtsclaw on administrative leave that same day. The department’s Investigative Services Bureau opened an internal investigation into the incident. All departmental equipment including weapons, badges and commission card were secured pending the investigation.

The department’s internal investigation resulted in the decision to terminate Holtsclaw. However, on Friday Holtsclaw resigned employment in lieu of termination. He has been assigned as a trooper to the Fall Branch District in east Tennessee since joining the department in January 2012.

The criminal case against Holtsclaw is pending.

“Allegations of domestic violence are absolutely not tolerated in the Tennessee Highway Patrol,” Colonel Trott said. “Regardless of the outcome of the pending criminal case, our investigation concludes that this trooper clearly violated policies of the department and his behavior is unacceptable for anyone who wears the THP badge,” Trott stated.

“We will continue to act quickly to respond to any allegations of domestic assault, conduct thorough investigations, and swiftly discipline employees of this department who commit such acts of violence,” Commissioner Gibbons said. “The actions of this one trooper do not reflect those of the men and women of the Tennessee Highway Patrol,” he added.

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