Online Exclusive

Tenn. Mayor Fires Officers for Threatening Language

PORTLAND, Tenn. --

Two police officers in Portland are off the job because of something that happened more than a year ago.

On Tuesday, the mayor terminated Sgt. Dana Heckart and Lt. Melvin McLerran. He said Heckart and McLerran used threatening language during a meeting with officers in March of last year.

The officers were demoted after an initial investigation.

A tape of the meeting surfaced three or four weeks ago.

The mayor said he heard from council members Monday night who said it would be difficult for the officers to regain the public's trust. He decided to terminate them Tuesday.

Copyright 2011 by All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.Got a story idea? E-mail newstips to or call the newsroom 24/7