BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – Claims that the Battle Creek Police Department has tried to cover-up mistakes and has a culture of corruption have caught the attention of the Chief Jackie Hampton.
The chief said his department doesn’t have anything to hide so he personally contacted the FBI and told them he wants his own department investigated for misconduct and corruption.
“We are not perfect by any means,” Chief Hampton said. “But to call us corrupt, which is criminal? We got serious issues with that.”
Chief Hampton said months ago he started hearing rumblings that a couple Battle Creek City Commissioners had anonymous tips from police officers talking about misconduct in the department.
He said typically internal affairs gets involved whenever those claims are made.
“This information was taken to the Attorney General, it was taken to the State Police, it was brought to multiple media outlets, but it was never brought to us,” said Hampton.
We spoke with a detective at the Michigan State Police who said he had received phone messages from a Battle Creek City Commissioner but never spoke with anyone.
MSP said there is no active investigation on the Battle Creek Police Department as a whole.
State police are investigation two separate incidents within the department however.
FOX 17 first told you on March 27th, how a Battle Creek Police Officer was fired after being accused of stealing from a fellow officer.
Police said they have received hidden camera footage that may contain evidence of a crime. That evidence is yet to be reviewed
You may also remember allegations of a cover-up after an incident in July, when two off-duty police officers from the department were involved in a crash after reportedly drinking and driving.
“Those are incidents that occur in an organization,” said Hampton. “If you were to check with other departments, they have incidents that occur. The issue is, how do you address those issues?”
Months after the off-duty officer crash in July, a Battle Creek City Commissioner sent FOX 17 emails referring to anonymous tips from officers.
On October 16th, the commissioner was wrote, “…they all have so much junk on each other, that they are afraid to fire certain people. If they speak out, the whole ship will sink.”
Chief Hampton said he hopes an FBI investigation will put an end to what he calls unsubstantiated claims.
“The old saving is, put up or shut up, and I think we are at that point,” said Hampton.
The FBI would neither confirm nor deny any investigation of the Battle Creek Police Department.