MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The number of Memphis Police officers arrested this year now stands at 21. This, after a 12-year veteran of the force was arrested Tuesday and charged with prescription fraud related to a popular weight-loss drug.
"If I have to lock up 10 more this year, if I have to lock up a hundred more, I will do that to rid this department of people who don't deserve to carry a badge," said Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong. "It is not like we are turning a blind eye."
Paula Jamerson, 39, turned herself in on Tuesday, October 9 after being charged with four counts of counts of Obtaining Controlled Substance by Fraud/Deception/Forged Prescription. According to police reports, a nurse practitioner at Mediplan Diet Services in Hickory Hill called police last month.
"The prescriptions had been filled previously by the physician in the office and the four prescriptions that were passed were taken out of the patient's file by Paula Jamerson and subsequently refilled," a detective wrote in Jamerson's affidavit.
The drug in question is Phentermine.
"I selected not to carry the drug because of all the problems," said Dr. Charles Champion, who runs Champion's Pharmacy.
"People would come up with a lot of excuses like I ran out, my dogs got it, I dropped it in the commode," he added.
According to police, Jamerson joined the force in January 2000 and was assigned to the Ridgeway Station.
This year, 20 other officers have been arrested, charged with crimes ranging from arranging drug deals to sex-trafficking.
"I will never hide a dirty police officer," Armstrong said.