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Bainbridge Public Safety changes policies after former officer was arrested

Phillipp Tarnow was arrested November 17 on felony charges.
Posted at 6:46 PM, Nov 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-22 18:46:41-05
  • A former officer is facing charges of sexual assault and violation of oath by public officer.
  • Bainbridge Public Safety director, Frank Green, has added new policies for added safety during calls for transport.
  • Watch the story to learn what new policies have been implemented.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

The director of Bainbridge Public Safety, Frank Green, said it's time for policy change. "Basically, just putting in safety procedures."

These changes follow the recent arrest of a former public safety officer, accused of sexual assault. During a two-month investigation, Phillipp Tarnow was fired from the department after only 10 months on duty after an allegation of sexual assault.

I reviewed the incident report from the county sheriff's office that stated Tarnow is accused of having sexual relations with a person while in custody during a police transport. The alleged victim was picked up on September 3 following a disturbance and Tarnow was assigned to the transport.

According to arrest documents, Tarnow was arrested on November 17. Tarnow went off the grid while making the more than 50 minute drive back to Bainbridge from Mitchell County.

The misconduct wasn't revealed until a complaint to the department was made four days later. That's when Green quickly contacted the district attorney's office who would reach out to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and Decatur County Sheriff's office to begin an outside investigation.

"It was determined pretty quickly that there was a problem and there were issues,” according to Green. Green told me within 24 hours the DA's office deemed the evidence to be credible and Tarnow was fired.

Now, according to Green, policy changes have already been implemented when it comes to transports. "When things like this happen we have to examine what we do,” said Green.

Under the new policy a male and female officer must be present while transporting someone of the opposite sex. Green said policy changes don't stop there.

"We're still going to review. We're going to require the body camera and vehicle camera to be running the whole time, which should be running anyway,” said Green. 

Green said that the department must investigate all complaints. He tells me 90 percent of complaints are deemed to be false reports.

Green wants neighbors to know they can always reach out to the department. "We have a very good agency, and this officer that came in was a bad apple,” said Green."They can depend on us. If there's anything that comes to their attention that they have a question about, please call us.”

Tarnow is charged with sexual assault and violation of oath by a public officer. He is currently on bond awaiting a day in court facing a grand jury.

If you have a story that you think I should tell, reach out to me directly aj.douglas@wtxl.tv.