Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Tuesday, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) arrested former Isle of Palms Police Captain Dawn Caldwell, 45, on charges of Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent over $2,000 and Misconduct in Office in connection with alleged falsification of items while the officer worked as evidence technician for the department, according to a statement sent out by Linda Lovvorn Tucker, city administrator.
The situation came to the city's attention after an audit of the city's evidence room, at which time the Isle of Palms Police Chief Thomas Buckhannon requested that SLED conduct an investigation. The city has a secure evidence room with extremely limited access, including an alarm system and coded door for entry. A primary evidence custodian receives evidence, secures and maintains evidence in a property room, and releases evidence under appropriate conditions. The city's processes for protecting evidence met the Commission for Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) standards, national standards and property standards. In this case, the apparent falsification of records by one individual circumvented multiple safeguards, Tucker's statement said. To help prevent any future occurrence, the city has strengthened its processes for release of evidence to now require two witnesses for release of evidence.
Thomas Buckhannon, chief of police, said “We have identified the mistake and taken the necessary steps. The citizens of the island can rest assured that we are committed to providing the best services possible.”