Brooksville patrol officer fired after 'gross negligence,' chief says

BROOKSVILLE — On Monday, the Brooksville Police Department initiated an internal affairs investigation into one of its patrol officers.

Bryan Drinkard, who formerly worked as a detective with the agency, was suspended and immediately ordered to turn in his badge and gun, according to Chief George Turner. But, Turner said, Drinkard wouldn't obey at first, even avoiding officers when they came to his home.

On Wednesday, Drinkard walked into the department and, without telling anyone, laid his Glock handgun on the reception counter. The magazine was loaded with 14 hollow-point rounds.

Video showed that Drinkard was in the room for just 12 seconds before he left, Turner said. The gun sat, unnoticed and unsecured, for more than four minutes.

"It's obviously not safe. It was gross negligence on his part," Turner said. "I terminated him immediately."

The chief said Friday evening he couldn't discuss the internal affairs investigation into Drinkard, or what prompted it, because the inquiry remains open.

Drinkard, 44, who could not be reached for comment, had disciplinary issues with agencies at which he had worked previously, Turner acknowledged, noting that the patrol officer started with the Brooksville department before Turner became chief in 2007.

Since then, he noted, the agency has not hired any officers with "baggage from another agency."

When asked if he felt Drinkard was a good officer, the chief declined to answer.

Brooksville Officer Marc Davidoff, who was also hired before Turner became chief, was fired in May after he allegedly tried to kiss a female inmate from the Hernando County Detention Center.

The inmate, authorities say, reported the incident to Drinkard.

John Woodrow Cox can be reached at jcox@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1432.

Brooksville patrol officer fired after 'gross negligence,' chief says 03/02/12 [Last modified: Friday, March 2, 2012 8:16pm]

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