Gerald Atkinson (Image: Lexington County Detention Center)
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A Columbia police officer has been fired after he was arrested on charges of domestic violence and DUI.
Interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago says 41-year-old Gerald Atkinson was terminated from his position Tuesday after an internal investigation.
Santiago says Atkinson worked for the investigations unit.
According to the chief, there were claims that Atkinson committed criminal domestic violence acts in Columbia and Lexington County. The DUI charge also comes from Lexington County.
Santiago placed Atkinson on unpaid administrative leave Friday after the allegations surfaced. He also asked the State Law Enforcement Division to investigate the incident in Columbia.
"We as police officers are held to a higher standard in the public's eye," Santiago said in a statement. "We need to adhere to the laws that we are sworn to uphold. There are no excuses. The Columbia Police Department will only have outstanding officers serve citizens, and nothing less. These are serious allegations that have been brought to our attention."