A captain at the Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Station 3 has been placed on administration leave until an investigation into the discovery of a brown substance on department grounds is completed.
Capt. Theodore Pertiller was placed on paid leave Tuesday after Murfreesboro Fire Department administrators recovered an unknown brown substance during a locker inspection.
Law enforcement officials were called to the station to investigate after the substance was discovered by Commanders Daryl Alexander and Tim Swann, according to a Murfreesboro Police Department incident report filed by Sgt. Cary Gensemer.
“The item in question fell out of Partiller’s locker as he was removing items for the inspection,” Gensemer reported. “Sgt. Chad Hershman used a narcotics field testing kit for opiates on the item by placing a small amount in it, (and) the test was negative.”
The inspection of the building and lockers was conducted in response to marijuana cigarette butts being found Sunday at the station, located on Mercury Boulevard.
Assistant Chief Allen Swader announced Wednesday that the Fire Department has opened an internal investigation in response to the incident.
However, Fire Department administrators and law enforcement officials have not publicly said whether they believe the two are connected, and Pertiller has not been arrested or charged in connection with either incident.
Officials have confirmed that all of the substances were submitted to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for analysis, which is standard procedure.
“Department and city policy is being followed in addressing this incident,” Swader said. “The city of Murfreesboro is proud of having a drug free workplace with a zero tolerance standard.”
Swader said when Capt. Ricky Jones discovered the marijuana Sunday morning, he immediately notified supervisor Commander Dale Maynard, who then notified the Police Department.
Jones told officers that at the start of his shift just before 8 a.m., he found what appeared to be remains of a marijuana cigarette butt lying in the floor behind a truck parked in the fire bay, according to a Police Department incident report filed by Officer Mark Todd.
Jones said he then observed another marijuana cigarette butt “lying on top of a half-eaten Oreo cookie,” Todd reported, adding he observed the items, photographed them, and placed the butts in bags to be placed into evidence.
Both proved positive for marijuana when police conducted a routine field test of the two items, at which point Fire Department administrators were also notified of the incident, Todd reported.
“Departmental policy was followed by the supervisors of that station,” Swader said.
After being informed of the situation, Fire Department administrators started an investigation, he said.
“The investigation is ongoing,” Swader said. “There will be no additional comments on the investigation while it is continuing.”