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Nashville Lieutenant Resigns Under Fire After Rescuing Dogs on Duty

June 16, 2015  | 

Lieutenant Morgan Ford (Photo: Channel 4 Screen Shot)
Lieutenant Morgan Ford (Photo: Channel 4 Screen Shot)

Lieutenant Morgan Ford was a rising star in the Metro Nashville Police Department. She was the youngest woman ever to make lieutenant.

Ford was highly decorated, highly regarded and had hopes of becoming Nashville's first female chief of police.

But one January night while police were looking for a missing boy with autism, everything changed.

Ford sat down with Channel 4 and pored through the 238-page investigation of what happened on Jan. 12 in north Nashville.

On the night of Jan. 12, police were looking for a boy with autism when they came upon an abandoned house that was now being used to house pit bulls.

Field training officer Ryan Russell reported from the scene he could see an empty house full of dogs. There was an open window and police entered to search for the boy, but found dogs instead.

Russell said the dogs were scarred and filthy and appeared to be bred for fighting. He called Ford, his supervisor, to ask what to do. She said to remove the dogs.

Six dogs were taken to an animal hospital, and Ford and Russell each took one puppy home.

The next day, homeowner Delbert Porter reported a burglary, leading to an internal investigation into why police went into a home and took someone's property.

"You can look at the conditions, there was probable cause that the owner could have been guilty of animal cruelty," Eaton said. "It would have been inhumane to leave those animals."

Ford resigned. 

Ford has now joined the Army and is a candidate for officer's school.

Comments (14)

Displaying 1 - 14 of 14

Candelyn Marhyna Carpente @ 6/16/2015 3:06 PM

Next time FORD stand your ground. It is nice to know that you can have someone who will do what is right no matter what. I bet those puppies are very thankful you happen buy. Candelyn

Paul D @ 6/16/2015 3:21 PM

How could Metro Nashville let her go. A fine officer with a great future and a dog person to boot. Another bad guy walks while a fine LEO takes a hit. No question he was fighting the dogs, they were hero's for rescuing them. No problem, I'm an ex army guy and the army will be much better off now that they have her. Good luck Morgan and keep your head down.

plato's playdough @ 6/16/2015 11:33 PM

There is more to this story. Click the link provided named "Channel 4".

sherry @ 6/17/2015 1:06 AM

Yaaaa for rescuing the dogs. That property owner should and still can be changed for the condition of the animals and poor entertainment in which they were found. I am sure the Vet at the animal hospital would bsck up the officers.

sherry @ 6/17/2015 1:08 AM

Get that pet owner. All owners that mistreat there pets deserve to be treated the same exact way before serving there sentence in prison.

David @ 6/17/2015 5:36 AM

GREAT decision, local branch of Law Enforcement right NOW is in shambles, since you decided to resign you must have seen the writing on the wall seeing the direction the investigation was heading. Complete officer's school and other military training. Then seek a career in federal law enforcement if you still have the desire to serve in law enforcement.

Kojack58 @ 6/17/2015 7:01 AM

Good Job LT Ford, I would have done the same thing. I was a Military Working Dog Handler and would not tolerate any abuse of the dogs. Nashville lost a great lead officer. Let's pull your head out guys.

Lt Dan @ 6/17/2015 7:17 AM

The little omission that there was forced entry into the house is important. The 238 page IA report is significant. The bottom line is, IF YOU ACT IN GOOD FAITH NEVER EVER RESIGN under pressure. Take your discipline then appeal it and have it overturned. Somebody gave her bad advice.

Dan B @ 6/17/2015 9:53 AM

This is the problem in law enforcement today. When officers try to do the right thing, we get screwed over. When we hesitate to the side of caution we screwed (or killed). There is no way to make everyone happy. Shame on the FTO for being dishonest. And no way does a LT go out to the field for that. My LT hasnt been out in the field since I've been on patrol. This includes 3 homicides and an OIS that included 5 members from the station. The only thing Ford did wrong was take a puppy home and let the officer take one home. Even if her intention was to provide rescue efforts for the puppy, she should have let ACO take care of it.

Of course, in today's political climate, the Captain/Chief had to blame someone. The dog owner most likely sued for damages to the residence and the department settled to avoid lawsuit. Essentially he through a great asset under the bus to avoid bad press. This happens all the time now. Its a very sad time to a LEO.

Jon Retired LEO @ 6/17/2015 1:07 PM

All of the top brass in this department must be scared to death when dirt bags complain. Best of luck to Lt. Ford in her quest to join the Army. She will make them a great soldier.

S.S. @ 6/17/2015 1:37 PM

Where the hell is the union on this?? I felt she did the right thing. I hope it's not over for the piece of trash that had those dogs in those kinda conditions.

DEADMAN @ 6/17/2015 3:23 PM

The chief was appointed by the mayor and beholding to him,no telling who the mayor was beholding to,not all chiefs or brass have their thoughts in good working order.
Sorry she felt she had to resign,she did the right thing,time for the chief to resign.

kevCopAz @ 6/21/2015 8:42 PM

LT you did the right thing both in trusting your officers to be doing the right thing and telling you the truth (you had no reason to suspect otherwise) AND you handled the situation as any cop would. The dog owner should be charged end of story. You did make an error in just taking the hit. You should not have rolled over for that ballet Chief. On the other hand, I agree that perhaps you juts have too much honor and integrity to work under that fool and a department that throws its people under the bus! Nashville needs a new Chief, he is obviously a spineless political hack with no balls to protect his folks. Yeah Chief, you know its true.

[email protected] @ 7/8/2015 7:19 PM

Seems like the Army came out on top this time. Hope this allege "chief" gets sent back to patrolling the riverfront. Or maybe gets a job with the pos that owned the house and the dogs. Hmm, wonder what the connection there is? Lt, good luck and heed the advice given by David above. Blues, Stay Safe.

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