One officer who stayed under the radar for years was Matthew Leavitt, who was on his sixth police department when he assaulted Twan and Lauren Reynolds in September 2008.
Acting as a Montgomery police officer, Leavitt hit Twan Reynolds over the head with a blackjack, kicked him in the back and sprayed his eyes with pepper spray at close range outside the city's 7-Eleven. Their 4-year-old daughter witnessed much of the assault.
The day after the assault, Lauren Reynolds contacted the Gazette and said she had been taken to a separate room and handcuffed to a doorknob. She said Leavitt came in, grabbed her by the arm, leaned over and "just licks me on the neck," saying, "Little whore, you like it like that" and "Have you figured out who owns Montgomery yet? You're going to learn it."
Leavitt was investigated by the FBI and is serving a two-year prison sentence for federal civil rights violations at the Federal Correctional Institute in Bastrop, Texas. The Reynolds family settled a lawsuit with the city for $500,000.
In September, Montgomery created a police oversight commission to act as a liaison between the public and the city's police department due in part to Leavitt's actions.
Now the subcommittee would have to look at officers each time they jump between departments and decide whether they are fit to still be an officer.
"This will let the subcommittee fully scrutinize a person's departure prior to re-employment with another agency ... to find out why they left," said Sen. Bill Laird, D-Fayette, in an interview in February.
Additional money still must be added to the Police Oversight Committee's budget to fund the changes. Figures provided by Laird estimate that the committee's budget would need about $180,000 to fund the addition of a full-time investigator for the department, a full-time administrative assistant and a secretary, additional office costs and database maintenance.
Reach Gary Harki at gha...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.