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Honorary program gives political insiders cop-like badges

Trent Seibert and Brad Schrade of The Tennessean use state department records to investigate an "honorary captains" program that gives campaign donors, political insiders and friends troop-like badges. "Officials say the program is an atta-boy, a way to recognize people's contributions to the state. But critics say it's an invitation for the well-connected to brandish their influence and avoid getting tickets." The report also found the grandson of a powerful Bredesen supporter was under the impression that the badge was supposed to get him out of a drunken-driving arrest in January in Lauderdale County. Although he waved it at a trooper, he was ticketed. The story includes a sidebar listing recent honorary captain recipients. The governor ended the program in response to The Tennessean story.

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