The report, provided for review by the Cedartown Police Department after it became public record, confirms what Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd and Cedartown Assistant Police Chief Jamie Newsome stated publicly about the incident involving two county officers and one city officer.
Two Polk County officers – John Garrett, 41, of Silver Creek, and Shawn Bates, 27, of Silver Creek – both resigned effective Sept. 21, in lieu of termination.
One of the city’s officers -- Scott Couch, 36, of Cedartown – also resigned in lieu of termination Oct. 5.
The investigation into off-duty activities of the officers began Sept. 2.
That’s when one of the officer’s wives began suspecting her husband was cheating on her. She called Dodd and told him that, adding that he was acting strangely and also that she had been in the house when the drugs were manufactured with the other officer. The woman felt the drugs were the source of most of their problems.
Police went to the home of one officer while he wasn’t there and obtained three vials of a yellow liquid substance called finaplix. Finaplex is a steroid used to speed up growth and bulk of feedlot heifers, the report said.
Dodd began interviewing Bates and Garrett. Bates said he ordered a kit off a website and used Garrett’s credit card to order it because he didn’t have money at the time.
He said he and Garrett made the steroid together. He said he used four of five shots and two shots of injected testosterone.
Bates said he stopped steroid use because “he knew it was wrong and was no better than the people he was arresting.” He also said he started only because he “got curious.”
Garrett had a different story. He has maintain that he has had no involvement in Bates’ activities and said he loaned Bates his credit card because Bates told him he needed to order medication for his dogs.
Garrett said the package came to his house in a plain white box, which he gave to Bates, according to the report.
The incident was then turned over to the Rome Police Department for an internal investigation.
Bates was found deceptive in a polygraph test, which is what led investigations to Couch. According to the report, Bates’ deception was that he withheld information about the third officer’s involvement.
Garrett could not take a polygraph test because he was on the prescription drug lexapro, which is an anti-depression medication.
Further investigation and a second polygraph revealed Bates had reportedly acquired the testosterone from Garrett, who had reportedly gotten it from Couch.
Garrett has maintained his original story of no involvement and told investigation officers he “had no idea why Shawn would say these things,” according to the report.
None of the officers will face criminal charges from local law enforcement agencies. Dodd said last fall the officers’ statements were made under Garrity Warnings and that precludes using their testimony in any kind of criminal indictment.
However, further action is likely by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council. Dodd said the results of the two investigations have been forwarded to the POST Council. The Council may revoke the certification of these officers, place them on probation (suspended certification) or decide to take no further action against them.
POST officials were not immediately available for comment.