HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Huntsville Police Officer Jimmy Shane Hitt has been suspended from active duty and placed on administrative leave after an arrest on drug charges.
WAFF 48 News received information late Thursday night about Hitt's arrest. A reporter was told an officer was in jail on drug charges and that he was arrested early that morning.
Huntsville police officials said some of the facts in that story that aired on WAFF 48 News at 10 were incorrect, and they wanted to set the record straight.
Hitt, 35, is a 7 year veteran of the Huntsville Police Department. On Thursday, he was arrested and charged with three counts of obtaining drugs by fraud and one count of attempted possession of a controlled substance.
Huntsville Police Sgt. Mark Roberts said the arrest was a result of an internal investigation by the Huntsville-Madison County STAC Team and Major Crimes Unit.
WAFF 48 News first broke the story Thursday night at 10. An attempt was made before the newscast to contact Huntsville Police. In the story, it was reported Hitt was actually arrested early Thursday morning.
Roberts said that information is false and he wants to clear up any confusion with the public.
"I think you reported he was arrested at 8:30 that morning when that was not correct," he said. "That information came off a county inmate website. We want to make sure the public knows that he wasn't arrested until later that evening and by no means were we trying to conceal any information from the public or the news media."
Police said because the arrest was made late in the day and Hitt wasn't booked into the Metro Huntsville jail until 6:30 p.m. Thursday, no one was available to release any details.
Roberts said departmental arrests are not easy and often take time to put together.
"When we receive complaints on police officers we investigate thuroughly when charges are warranted to charge the officers we do get it to the media as soon as possible," he said.
Hitt will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal and administrative charges. He was released on $10,000 bond.