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DPS Officer Fired For Drug Charge

Katie Buelow

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The Department of Public Safety suffered fired officer Phillip Akridge after he was charged with two counts of selling a controlled substance and two counts of first-degree trafficking in St. Charles County.

Akridge, a 25-year-old from Jennings, Mo., was released from the force after his arrest on Oct. 25. The arrest resulted in the suspension of his security license, which is required to be employed by any private security agency.

Akridge worked for SLU 10 months as an unarmed officer at a fixed post in a parking garage at the Health Sciences Center. As an unarmed officer, Akridge never had to take a drug test. Neither the St. Louis Police Department nor SLU regulations require drug tests of unarmed public safety officers before they are hired.

“For several months we have worked on changing the University’s regulations,” Director of DPS Jack Titone said. “Starting Nov. 15, SLU will require drug tests of all public safety officers before they are hired.”

Titone said that even though the incident was not on campus, he’s concerned about the inference it has on the department.

“Mr. Akridge came highly recommended to the University by four separate security organizations,” said Titone. “We would ask the University community not to judge the Department of Public Safety on the alleged actions of a single individual, who is not a true reflection of this office and its mission.”

Titone emphasized the point that there are 118 men and women on the force who are dedicated to ensuring the safety of the SLU community.

He added, “We take great pride in the fact that SLU has one of the safest campuses in the nation.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the St. Charles Country Regional Drug Task Force said Akridge sold an informant more than one-third of an ounce of crack cocaine, worth $1,200-1,500. His crime is punishable with a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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DPS Officer Fired For Drug Charge