Chief Of Worst Police Department In U.S. Under Fire Over Inappropriate Viral Photo With Teen Girls
Colbert, OK - The most recent Colbert Police Chief, David Petersen, is under fire for now-viral photos of him posing with two teen girls.
Chief Petersen is the fourth police chief the town has had this year, according to KTEN .
One photo showed the chief sitting in his police cruiser, with the driver's window down, displaying his middle finger, with the two girls doing the same thing while standing beside the vehicle.
Another photo showed Chief Petersen with his arms around both girls, who were said to be 17 and 18 years old.
The images were posted on a Facebook page, and have since gone viral.
Chief Petersen is the third interim police chief for the Colbert Police Department this year. He was hired in September, despite having a prior arrest record, and having been terminated from the Pushmataha County Sheriff's Office in 2016, according to KXII.
Records from his termination state that he used his county vehicle for personal use, and gave rides to people who didn't work for the county.
In another incident while he was employed by the Sheriff's Office, Chief Petersen used his personal truck to respond to a call about a creepy clown.
Antlers Police pursued his truck, not knowing that it was his. The Antlers officer who chased then-Deputy Petersen totaled his cruiser during the chase.
In 2011, Chief Petersen was arrested for embezzlement after admitting to taking a laptop, toys, and food from the Walmart where he worked. Court records show that charge was later dismissed.
As recently as this January, Chief Petersen was charged with forging a Julian Lumber Company employee's signature to get about $50 worth of gas.
That charge was dismissed because he paid restitution to the owner of the lumber company.
If you wonder how this man could be a police chief, it's because he works for the worst department in the U.S. which has already seen three chiefs go over allegations of corruption within the city council and ties to neo-nazi groups.
In December of 2016, Colbert Police Chief John Polston was fired after being accused of not following proper procedures and insubordination.
Chief Colbert was reinstated because he had been fired without the council giving him a hearing, but he was later fired for a second and last time.
The first interim police chief, Bart Alsbrook, was given the position despite being a reserve police officer. He resigned in late August after his name was linked to a neo-Nazi web site, according to KFOR.
Alsbrook claimed that his identity had been stolen in the 1990s. The websites were taken down after they were brought to Chief Alsbrook's attention.
In March, Police Chief Frank Burrola was fired for insubordination, after he failed to turn in proper time sheets and scheduling, according to KTEN.
Chief Burrola’s replacement, Interim Chief Michelle Vannier, was fired after three days on the job because it turned out she wasn't a certified police officer.
Earlier this year, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol was investigating the town of Colbert as a speed trap, and whether police officers used a state database to make suspicious inquiries on city council members, according to The Oklahoman.
A former Colbert officer told KXII that they weren't allowed to patrol after 1 AM because a city councilmember owned a bar in town.
On Tuesday, the Colbert City Council talked to Chief Petersen about the photos, and he apologized and said that he had made a mistake.
He told KTEN that "his intention was to be a friendly police officer" after the two girls had said they hated cops.
"The position I'm in being the chief of police, I should have conducted myself in a professional manner at all times..." Chief Petersen said.
City Council member James Coble agreed, and said that the chief's job was not in jeopardy.
“It's human compassion to give people a second chance,” Coble said.
He also said that he thought Chief Petersen was still the right person to run the police department.