Battle Creek Police Chief Says Allegations Of Corruption Are Unfounded

Posted at 12:26 PM, Mar 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-29 12:26:50-04

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – Battle Creek Police Chief Jackie Hampton said he contacted the FBI in early March initiating an investigation after noticing rumors of corruption within the department was having an affect on officer morale.

the FBI told FOX 17 they could neither confirm or deny an ongoing investigation.

In an interview with FOX 17 Friday, the chief said he had first learned that certain members of the City Commission were asking for external investigations from the Attorney General’s Office and the Michigan State Police months ago.

Chief Hampton said typically when people suspect wrongdoing within the department two internal investigators are asked to get involved to see if there are any truth to the claims.  Hampton said neither he nor the internal investigators were notified of these corruption claims.

FOX 17 spoke with Lt. Chuck Christensen, of the Michigan State Police, who said a city commissioner did leave a voicemail expressing overall concerns about the police department months ago.

Lt. Christensen said he attempted to call the commissioner back but never made contact.

He went on to say that there is no active police probe into the Battle Creek Police Department as a whole, however there are specific investigations surrounding officers in the department.

Earlier this week FOX 17 told you about a veteran female officer dismissed from the police force after allegations that she was stealing from other female officers in the police locker room.

There is also an ongoing investigation from MSP surrounding claims that an off duty officer crashed a car while driving under the influence.

Police are working to find out if other officers who arrived on the scene of the crash attempted to cover up a crime.

Chief Hampton said when you work in a large department, internal issues are inevitable.  He said the department is handling those specific investigation properly.

Hampton said he has seen no evidence on the most recent allegations of overall corruption however, those claims have proven to be harmful to officer morale as well as public perception.

He’s hopeful that an FBI investigation will clear up the confusion once and for all.