2009-08-15 / Editorials & Letters

'Watchdog' still sniffing around

Editor: I attended the August 5th Kirkersville Council meeting and received a public records request from the police chief, Mark Bossa. Chief Bossa gave me the impression that he was friendly and accommodating by offering to answer any questions and to help explain some code entries on logsheets. But during the council meeting I had a different feeling…an uneasy feeling that I've had many times in the past when I heard previous police chiefs wanting to spend money, money the village doesn't have.

After Chief Bossa reported that he traded some of the blue beacons on the light bars for red ones, he announced that he would like to get a 'patrol rifle.' This is the same weapon that most people refer to as an ASSAULT RIFLE! In fact, when the police buy these weapons they are called "patrol rifles" but when a citizen buys these weapons, they are called "assault rifles."

It is my opinion that this chief is not going to be the one who can regain the confidence of the citizens after their years of being bullied by the GOB's (Good Ole Boys) including one remaining GOB, Council Member Brian Denton! I spoke to Mayor Ashcraft who is not in favor of this rifle. He did say that the final decision is up to council but he doesn't feel that this purchase of $900 - $1000 can be justified.

According to public records, the Kirkersville police drove 2025 miles in the month of July, 2009. It appears that most of those miles were on INTERSTATE 70…running radar! How can officers protect RESIDENTS in the village when they are on the freeway looking to write traffic tickets?

Police Chief Bossa says, according to the Licking County Prosecutor's Office, former Kirkersville Police Chief Robert Chamberlain II will not be charged with theft of village property. As you may recall, Chamberlain resigned his position last spring and took his personnel file and five hard drives of information with him. But Chamberlain will not be charged for taking Village property because the village, according to the prosecutor, can't prove what is on the hard drives, as reported by Chief Bossa (even though they knew there were videos of the police stops and one officer noted that they lost a case because Chamberlain had the evidence)!! He won't be charged with taking his personnel file either because he gave it back when prompted by the prosecutor.

Didn't we just see several news stories on government offices throwing people's personal information in the trash cans where ANYONE can get it? How much personal information do you think is produced from a traffic stop? And where is it now? Will those hard drives end up in a trash can at some storage building for someone to get their hands on?

The prosecutor lets a police chief…uh…FORMER police chief walk out of the village of Kirkersville with information that could be someone's personal information…. because the village couldn't PROVE what was on the hard drives?! Police officers took money and other items (belonging to citizens) from the evidence room and I suspect the county prosecutor won't be doing anything about that theft either!

In my research, I found a website that says "Kirkersville Division of Police Official Site." Guess whose picture is on the front page… "Chief" Chamberlain! The 'contact information' page says this: "If you notice something strange or out of place, try to describe the person(s) (height, weight, clothing, hair color, etc.), vehicle(s) (make, model, color, license number, direction of travel, etc.), and the actions of the person(s). Try to be as accurate as possible, but DO NOT place yourself in any danger. Become involved in the community, meet your neighbors, help with community activities and be aware of your surroundings. Together we can win the fight against crime." So…. I would like to report something strange. He was wearing a police uniform and took village property and may have personal information belonging to SEVERAL people and committed a CRIME! Bonnie Mansfield Buckeye Lake

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