He was a detective, breaking cases and putting criminals behind bars.
But his career and bright future ended in an instant thanks to an accident and alcohol.
It’s something Kevin Grogan isn’t proud of, but he is willing to talk about it in his new book “Black Sheep White Cop”, and its one of many things he won’t make excuses for.
“You don’t deny that you were drunk that night?”
“No. not at all.”
Another thing Grogan can’t deny is that night in 2014, the night he rear ended another car in a SCMPD vehicle and got arrested, changed his life forever.
“I’m an alcoholic, I drink,” explained Grogan. “That’s what i did for many years. It was a coping mechanism. That night when I wrecked I had been drinking,. I had been drinking the better part of the afternoon.”
But that admission wasn’t enough in the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office’s mind. It charging him not with just DUI, but making false statements and tampering with evidence.
Charges Grogan in the book calls “political”, and all based on race.
“When i got wrapped into the political aspects of things, that affected murder cases, it affected people who had been shot,” says Grogan.
“I was put into position where i couldn’t testify because i had to worry about my own well being. When politics trumps justice then we lose sight of it. How is a DUI more important than murder? Its not, and it never will be.”
Grogan was found guilty of DUI, but not guilty on all the other charges against him.
What was important to Kevin Grogan the cop was taking criminals off the streets.
Much of the book focuses on his time in 2006 with the EXPO or Expanded Patrol Operation Unit.
A controversial group of SCMPD officers including two, Kelvin Frazier and Floyd Sawyer, who each went to prison. All of whom were known for using “aggressive” techniques to fight crime.
“EXPO was on the right side of things. Did they do things that were wrong to get there?”
“No. I’d say not at all. I would say but what was acceptable then is less acceptable now. But i don’t believe it would be any less of an effective strategy.”
“EXPO couldn’t exist today?”
“No. Absolutely not..”
“A lot of people said EXPO did cross the line, on a regular basis.”
“A lot of people said it but i was there every day 12 hours a day and I never saw it.”
“What we did was very aggressive. We were allowed to go out and police. And you are talking about 2006, not terribly far from 9/11 in 2001 when soldiers and police are heroes now post 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore and New York. The eye on police and police nationally is totally different.”
“The police department in Savannah makes 46% less arrests now than they did 10 years ago.”
“My biggest fear is that what we’ve done is we’ve gotten into an infraction mindset in a felony world. We are dealing with the easy stuff allowing the big stuff to happen.”
“You’ve got guys (from EXPO) who have gone to prison, that have been kicked off the force that you say are some of the best cops that you’ve met.”
“A lot of opinions are made by people who aren’t there. They didn’t see what happened, they didn’t experience. They didn’t experience… they went off on..that’s how rumors spread. People say I heard they did this and i heard people said they did that. I’ve been told to my face this happened and this arrest and there were bad searches.. And i’m telling you none of that ever happened.”
Grogan says his book details much of what the Unit did, and gives credit to many officers who’s names and badges have been tarnished over time. Officers he calls friends, like Greg Capers.
“There’s going to come a point when his children, his grandchildren, they are going to google his name and they are going to look at that. I want them to have something that shows there’s another side to that story. and this very clearly does that.”
“Are you worried about people’s reactions saying that you are just supporting these guys because you were on a dirty unit with them?”
“Am i worried about that. No. Do I expect it happen, yes. I’ve never really been concerned about what people think about me personally, but i’m not a liar. I have no reason to be dishonest about anything.”
Including his opinions about embattled, now incarcerated former SCMPD Chief Willie Lovett.
“There are things about Chief Lovett that I respect immensely. I don’t think its (what he writes in the book) is going to be the popular opinion but its my opinion.”
“This book that i’ve written does something positive. It points out a lot of point of views that unless you are out there on the streets you don’t see it. I hope it gives people a light not just into EXPO but police in general hope it gives people a light not just into EXPO but police in general. I hope it gives people an idea that if we let police police then maybe they will help.”
He believes this book “humanizes” all police officers. Including the ones in Savannah. Which he calls the “best department” to work for..
“Black Sheep White Cop: Savannah EXPOsed” is available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle