CONYERS, Ga. — An off-duty Rockdale County Sheriff’s Deputy, Gregory Ducre, was arrested Wednesday, charged with DUI, nine months after Ducre was hired, and just over a year after he was fired by the DeKalb County Police Department for being under the influence of alcohol while on duty.
Dash cam video shows a Conyers police officer chasing a speeding SUV on I-20 through Conyers early Wednesday morning, and the officer later said he had to drive 120 miles per hour to catch up, after clocking the SUV going 110 mph.
The SUV pulled over, and the officer said in his report that, as soon as Ducre rolled down his window, the officer smelled a strong odor of alcohol on him.
Ducre identified himself as a deputy, and agreed to take a field sobriety test.
The video shows Ducre wobbling, unsteady on his feet. It also shows officers telling Ducre he failed the test.
They arrested him, charging him with speeding, reckless driving, and DUI.
The Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office told 11Alive Ducre was hired on Nov. 1, 2021.
Ducre’s state certification records show that in June, 2021, Ducre was fired from his job as an officer with the DeKalb County Police Department for being under the influence of alcohol while on patrol - caught in a random alcohol test.
A Rockdale County Sheriff’s spokesperson would not comment on Ducre’s previous firing, telling 11Alive that the Sheriff’s Office hired Ducre after “a stringent and thorough background check," including records of his previous employment and his state certification records.
The spokesperson also said that since Ducre was hired by Rockdale, there would have been nothing in Ducre’s record to have disqualified him, even though as a DeKalb Officer he’d been under the influence while on duty.
“Most definitely it would concern the public,” said law enforcement consultant Charles Rambo, “because you're working with an officer who was impaired or still had some remnants of alcohol in his system.”
Rambo, a former deputy with a different agency, said he hears from law enforcement agencies across the country about how they are so desperate to fill vacancies, they’re hiring people they wouldn’t have hired a few years ago.
The Rockdale Sheriff’s office did not comment on whether that was a factor in hiring Ducre with his record.
“Because of the fact that law enforcement agencies today are starving for law enforcement officers,” Rambo said, “some of them are taking a second look at candidates to see whether or not they deserve a second chance. And this is case by case, according to the needs and how much an agency is willing to bend its standards in order to get qualified people on the payroll and out there on the streets.... But if they fall into a pattern and practice of continual behavior of drinking on the job, then they have to be escorted out the door just as quickly as we hired them.”
Ducre is now on administrative leave while the sheriff’s office conducts an internal investigation.