Article Comment 

CPD officer appeals suspension

 

Jason Browne

 

A Columbus police officer headed into retirement next month is appealing a 12-day suspension. 

 


Lt. Keith Worshaim, a shift commander and 25-year veteran of the CPD, has formally appealed the suspension levied by Columbus Police Chief St. John. 

 


Columbus Police Chief Joseph St. John could not comment on the matter, but a source who wished to remain anonymous reported Worshaim''s unpaid suspension -- which began on Sept. 8 -- was the result of several infractions. 

 


"It''s true," St. John said of the suspension and appeal. "But I just can''t comment on it because it''s a personnel issue." 

 


One incident involved an officer on Worhshaim''s shift granting a ride-along to a private citizen. St. John ordered the ride-along to last four hours, but Worshaim reportedly cut the ride-along short and ordered the officer to return the citizen to the police department. 

 


In another incident, Worshaim is said to have put a new officer on foot patrol after the officer pointed out Worshaim had not met the qualifications to carry a Taser. Each officer must be Tased in order to carry a Taser. 

 


A third incident centered on Worshaim''s poor treatment of members of the media at the scene of accidents or crimes. 

 


St. John issued a reminder to the police force to allow appropriate access to the media, after which Worshaim again mistreated a media member, the source said. 

 


Worshaim could not be reached for comment. 

 


Worshaim was sent home on paid administrative leave Aug. 28; on Sept. 8, he began his unpaid suspension. 

 


Worshaim has hired attorney Rod Ray to represent him in the appeal process. Ray also represented Columbus Police Department officers Wade Beard, Heath Beard and Robert Walker when they appealed their 15-day suspension for a May 6 incident at the Vicksburg National Military Park, where the trio and Cpl. Spence Wallingford, also a Columbus police officer, were attending training. 

 


Lowndes County Sheriff''s Office officials filed a letter of reprimand against LCSO Deputy Scott Glasgow, who also was involved in the incident. 

 


According to reports, Glasgow, Wallingford, Heath Beard, Wade Beard and Walker were riding through the park in a marked Columbus police cruiser and flashing the vehicle''s lights and sirens at passersby. 

 


The reports also claimed Glasgow and his fiancĂ© were riding in the vehicle''s open trunk.  

 


Since the Vicksburg incident, one officer, aside from Worshaim, and one auxiliary employee have been suspended from the CPD, as the result of a Community Work Program participant and others being involved in a gun theft from the department''s firing range off Martin Luther King Drive, in June. 

 


Because Worshaim has hired legal counsel, Columbus City Attorney Jeff Turnage is now handling the matter. 

 


The issue will be brought before the Columbus City Council next Tuesday. 

 


"They''ll review whether what I did was appropriate for what I thought he did," said St. John. "They can overturn it if they want." 

 


Capt. Joe Johnson, who has served with Worshaim for the duration of Worshaim''s time with the CPD, described the internal affairs and accreditation officer as a "good officer." 

 


"There''s no doubt about that. He does his job," said Johnson, who serves as assistant police chief. 

 


Worshaim recently turned in his notice of retirement. Oct. 23 is scheduled to be his last day with the CPD.

 

 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment Justin Smith commented at 9/29/2009 11:38:00 AM:

I'm so glad that Joe knows a "good officer".

 

Article Comment Jane Doe commented at 9/29/2009 1:50:00 PM:

We're not perfect in God's eye and every human is not accident or error proof, but when someone is over you no matter how many years you have been employed, he/she is still in charge and we must obey the bylaws of that company. I do not know much about the police force, but everyone young and old got to do right when it comes to your job no matter how old/young the Chief is. He's the overall boss! Good Luck Keith!

 

Article Comment melody commented at 9/29/2009 2:20:00 PM:

This is just one of many officers that need to have a close eye beamed in their direction. But I also think this might be the pot calling the kettle black..no pun intended.

 

Article Comment Charles commented at 9/29/2009 4:36:00 PM:

Chief Joseph St. John you recently appointed Lt Worsheim as shift commander and supervisor. You knew his personality, training and his leadership style before you placed him in that position. Stop blaming others for your inability to handle the Chief position. If you had a problem with Lt. Worsheim. You could have reassigned him without suspension. Due to liability issues most departments does NOT allow citizen ride along. It may have been a safety issue that the ride along program was cut short. It is the responsibity of the shift commander to make that decision. Unless you are going to finally go to work, and make the decisions for all the supervisors. Stop taking credit for things in the community that you did not have anything to do with , and stop blaming everyone else for your problems. This is not the first time you have been accused of unjustly retaliating against officers retiring and leaving the police department. "Neal " "Randy" , watch- out, you are next.

The Columbus Police Department have many honest, hard working , officers and personnel. Most citizens are very proud of you and the jobs you are doing. I hope you continue Protecting and Serving this city.

 

Article Comment janedoeII commented at 9/30/2009 1:41:00 PM:

This is not surprising. I was stopped by Worsheim years ago when I apparently went under a caution light too late and he was very hostile towards me. I am a mother of three and have never had a confrontation with someone like I did that day...he even called in a backup car and when I asked why stated that he had to in case of " an incident"....this was all over a stop because he thought I went thru the caution light too late and I didn't. I guess since I questioned his judgment, I was immediately deemed "a potential incident". Lastly, no one likes to have someone waving their finger in your face. That was a rude and hostile act.

 

Article Comment Vicki commented at 9/30/2009 3:57:00 PM:

I hope the Chief soon gets what he deserves... not that I agree with the actions of Lt Worshaim... I ultimatley blame the Chief for the irrational changes he is making within the Police Dept!!! I hope the community keeps an eye out on this. We are all about to see some changes thanks to him!! Charles, I agree with you!! There are a few more officers that are victim to this as well!! I think it is unfair to let him get away with "trying" to run off our veteran officers... Since when do you change special trained officers to positions they are not their strongest in?

 

Article Comment Voice of Reason commented at 9/30/2009 4:01:00 PM:

The suspension couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy!Worshaim has always had a terrible attitude, and the city of Columbus will be a much better place with him off the force.

 

Article Comment The Truth commented at 9/30/2009 10:41:00 PM:

I figure as many time as he's screwed over the citizens (mostly african american) of columbus it's time for him to get pay back. I don't wish anyone any bad luck but what goes around comes around and it's WOrshaim's turn now.

 

Article Comment TD commented at 10/1/2009 8:20:00 AM:

Vicki - do I detect a tone of revenge in your comment. Are you privy to info that a decision on the Chief's future has already been made? He won't get a fair shake -- is that what you're saying? If that's the case, Columbus has some real problems. Forget fairness and justice -- instead let "eye for an eye" rule the day. Sad!

 

Article Comment grace64 commented at 10/1/2009 3:57:00 PM:

I agree, Mr. Worshaim has gotten what he deserves. I was stopped by him twice in a one week period and he was extremely rude to me both times and made some smart remarks that were uncalled for! Way to go Chief St John!!!

 

Article Comment 2 cents commented at 10/1/2009 4:49:00 PM:

I like St John.
I have not had in personal encounters with the officer in question, but if he is rude to people. then I am glad it happened. Policemen (they like to be called officers) tend to forget the "to protect and serve motto"
We have too many officers out there with EGO disorders, they act like the are the boss of the town. If there are any policemen reading this, let me say thanks for helping keep us safe and lets not forget the definition of officer. in laymen terms it means the "official on the scene" it is derived from the word "official", if there is a higher ranking officer present, he/she is your official on so on and so on. So the term officer does not make you a god or the boss of citizens under normal circumstances. .

 

Article Comment 2 cents commented at 10/1/2009 4:57:00 PM:

I like St John.
I have not had in personal encounters with the officer in question, but if he is rude to people. then I am glad it happened. Policemen (they like to be called officers) tend to forget the "to protect and serve motto"
We have too many officers out there with EGO disorders, they act like the are the boss of the town. If there are any policemen reading this, let me say thanks for helping keep us safe and lets not forget the definition of officer. in laymen terms it means the "official on the scene" it is derived from the word "official", if there is a higher ranking officer present, he/she is your official on so on and so on. So the term officer does not make you a god or the boss of citizens under normal circumstances. .

 

Article Comment Paris commented at 10/1/2009 8:18:00 PM:

To all of you that is down grading officer Worshaim who has served you continuously and now he's about to retire, why are you complaining now when you had ample opportunity to observe and report any alleged incident that occurred between the two of you in a alleged confrontation during a traffic stop or what ever the problem was. You could have done something about it when it took place so why did you sit back with the silent treatment, now that one individual has spoken everybody has had a problem with him you never had a problem with any other officer so they have been perfect, not one of them has ever done wrong in your eye sight you should not have been screwing up and in the officers view therefore he had a job to do, just like you if you are not to sorry to look for employment and not wait on hand outs probably not one of you ever go to the pole and vote and if someone else opinion wasn't pointed out you wouldn't have even responded if someone was brugularizing or clucking you up side your head you'll be glad to see him so let the man retire with dignity. Keep your head up Keith let go and let GOD have his way because St. John has no power when it comes to him and just hold on to this no weapons formed against you shall prosper you see how Joe Johnson have been treated all this time he will win he is good enough to substitute until they find who they want or think they want until the dirt start shifting then it goes to deal or no deal but one thing I no for sure they can't keep him out forever and don't get upset with mr. johnson St. John because the truth is being told. A CONCERN CITIZEN

 

Article Comment Paris commented at 10/1/2009 9:09:00 PM:

To all of you that is down grading officer Worshaim who has served you continuously and now he's about to retire, why are you complaining now when you had ample opportunity to observe and report any alleged incident that occurred between the two of you in a alleged confrontation during a traffic stop or what ever the problem was. You could have done something about it when it took place so why did you sit back with the silent treatment, now that one individual has spoken everybody has had a problem with him you never had a problem with any other officer so they have been perfect, not one of them has ever done wrong in your eye sight you should not have been screwing up and in the officers view therefore he had a job to do, just like you if you are not to sorry to look for employment and not wait on hand outs probably not one of you ever go to the pole and vote and if someone else opinion wasn't pointed out you wouldn't have even responded if someone was brugularizing or clucking you up side your head you'll be glad to see him so let the man retire with dignity. Keep your head up Keith let go and let GOD have his way because St. John has no power when it comes to him and just hold on to this no weapons formed against you shall prosper you see how Joe Johnson have been treated all this time he will win he is good enough to substitute until they find who they want or think they want until the dirt start shifting then it goes to deal or no deal but one thing I no for sure they can't keep him out forever and don't get upset with mr. johnson St. John because the truth is being told. A CONCERN CITIZEN

 

Article Comment 2 cents commented at 10/2/2009 9:39:00 AM:

to: Paris

What do you mean how Joe Johnson was treated?

Joe Johnson is a excellent police officer, but he is not and never will be chief material. A proper chief has to be someone with management skills of finances and office related skills as well as business skills (IE more education). Also everyone knows that Columbus needed some new ideas in there, you cannot get new ideas if you are dealing with the same old people.
So Paris, if you are referring to how Mr Johnson was treated was racist, then isn't that always the easiest thing to say when you do not have the ability to see the truth? Just use the race card, that will stir them up.

 

Article Comment tom commented at 10/2/2009 12:48:00 PM:

Boy, if you people could solve the problems of the entire world, instead of just Columbus we would be in great shape!!! YEAH RIGHT!!!!

 

Article Comment Charles commented at 10/2/2009 2:58:00 PM:

Times are changing . Columbus is changing. The City Mayor and Broad have changed in the past 8 years. That is not racism, that is the facts. Most of these changes were only possible because the citizens wanted the best Police Chief for Columbus, Ms. Does Qualification matter? Joe Johnson has more education and work experience that most of the past Chief of Police . Chief Pickens had less education and qualification but he was appointed Chief. Chief Pickens was a good Police Chief, yes he had some problems, but he tried. Joe Johnson deserves an opportunity to be a Chief of Police. If, Joe Johnson can not do the job as chief. The City Mayor and Broad can remove him. If the city gives him a chance, this will end the issue of racism. Chief Joseph St. John is a very nice man but much of his leadership has been questionable. He does not Lead by Example and he is not a good role model for our children.

I may not like Lt. Keith Worheiam personality but he did his job. I have a problems with the officers and elected officials that does not.

 

Article Comment Guardian commented at 10/11/2009 10:04:00 PM:

I am no longer a resident of the Columbus/Lowndes County area. However, I am in LE and I am planning on returning one day. I can not comment on either Lt. Worshaim or Chief St. John. However, I will say that all citizens (including those of you commenting) have the power in your hands to not allow things to carry on that would be considered inappropriate. You voted on the individuals (mayor and council) who placed each of these officers (also the chief) in office. You are all responsible. Everyone votes according to what they can get out of a deal (i.e. favors, get out of jail free card, I knew his father, race, and ect.) instead of taking care of the greater good of all. When the greater good is not addressed, ALL will have a problem. When voting on city leaders, make sure that you place someone in officer who will have a sense of public safety. Someone will pick a chief (and therefore, pick officers) who will maintain the honor and respect for the job. I pray that you all get it one day. As for the boss having the final word, I say that everyone must be held accountable! The buck stops at the top if a leader is worth the salt in his or her bread.

 

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