APD dispatcher charged with sexual advance on inmate


News Staff Writer

A part-time emergency dispatcher with the Atmore Police Department, who also works as a Poarch Creek Indians Tribal Police dispatcher, was arrested last Thursday, February 8, after an internal APD investigation led to charges that he made sexual advances toward an inmate in the city lockup.
According to a press release issued last week by Sgt. Darrell McMann, 41-year-old Lucas Gaiters was fired from his position with the city and jailed after APD administrative staff determined he made “inappropriate sexual advances toward a female inmate incarcerated in the City of Atmore Municipal Jail.”
Gaiters was booked into the Escambia County Detention Center (ECDC), from which he was released on $15,000 bond the day after his arrest. A condition of the bond is that he cannot have any contact with his alleged victim.
According to city personnel records, Gaiters was hired by APD in June 2021 as a fulltime emergency dispatcher. He resigned in February 2022 and accepted a full-time dispatcher position with the tribal law enforcement agency. In November of 2023 he began moonlighting on a part-time basis with APD, which was short of dispatchers at the time.
Police Chief Chuck Brooks said he had not previously received any complaints about Gaiters, who generally reported to work in Atmore after having just finished a 12-hour shift at Poarch, or on his days off there. He got along well with officers, administrative staff and his fellow dispatchers.
“It was definitely a shock; I was very surprised,” Brooks said. “We had no reason to think anything like that was going on. But we got a complaint from an inmate, and any such allegations are investigated. When we interviewed him, we found enough probable cause to make an arrest, and he was arrested.”
Gaiters’s police peers were equally surprised.
“I was amazed when I heard he had been arrested,” said an APD employee who asked to remain anonymous. “He got along well with everybody.”
Still, said the police chief, such behavior can’t be and won’t be tolerated from any of his department’s employees, civilian or certified.
“Once a person is incarcerated, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that inmate is safe, that’s just all there is to it.” he asserted. “The Atmore Police Department is committed to a Zero Tolerance Policy when it comes to the safety and wellbeing of citizens incarcerated in the city jail.”
The ECDC website lists “custodial sexual abuse” as the charge under which Gaiters was processed, but Brooks said police actually charged the former dispatcher with custodial sexual misconduct, although the legal definition for the two charges reads the same.
According to Alabama Criminal Code Section 14-11-31, “it shall be unlawful for any employee to engage in sexual conduct with a person who is in the custody of the Department of Corrections, the Department of Youth Services, a sheriff, a county, or a municipality.”
Custodial sexual misconduct is a Class C felony, punishable upon conviction by a period of 1-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.