A Tennessee police department says it has fired an officer after 17 years on the force because he repeatedly smoked cigarettes inside the precinct in violation of the city's no smoking policy.

Newbern police Sgt. James Bishop was terminated last week. A 2007 city policy prohibits smoking inside all municipal offices and buildings.

According to the termination letter obtained by the State Gazette, Police Chief Harold Dunivant said he had complaints that his employees were smoking inside their offices and issued a warning that disciplinary action could be taken (http://bit.ly/yAUKOE).

Dunivant said he continued to get complaints about Bishop smoking indoors and was forced to fire him.

A phone number that the city of Newbern had on record Bishop him was disconnected, and messages left by The Associated Press at other listings for James Bishop weren't immediately returned.