More cop woes

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 10, 2007

Selma police officer arrested by sheriff’s deputies



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The arrest of a Selma police officer Monday may have done more than left the department one less officer.

The department has suffered through several embarrassing incidents involving new officers &045; from a female fired for firing her weapon during a domestic incident, to a cop fired for reportedly fueling up his personal vehicle with city fuel. Another let go did not have his high school diploma.

Jason Whitt, 23, has been charged with filing a false report after he admitted he lied about unknown assailants kicking in his door and stealing a rented big screen TV from his County Road 865 home. The television was rented from Rent-A-Center. Whitt turned himself in at the Dallas County Jail and was released on $500 bond after being charged with the misdemeanor.

Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman said the alleged theft was reported to have taken place between Aug. 14-15.

Investigator John Hatfield said investigating one of their own is never easy. Arresting a fellow law enforcement officer was new ground for him.

The Selma Police Department was notified Sept. 10 of the investigation, which was conducted by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.

Whitt reportedly rented the RCA flat screen TV, valued at $1,500. Authorities said once he was questioned Whitt gave a written confession, then led deputies to Montgomery to retrieve the property, authorities said.

While the SPD is saddened by the arrest of one of its own, the incident &8220;will be used to further demonstrate the high level of professional integrity that members of the Selma Police Department will be accountable for maintaining,&8221; the news release stated.

The total number of active police officers is now 39, according to city officials. A study of the police department, conducted by Public Safety Consultants, Inc., is due any day now, city officials said.

Chief Jimmy Martin resigned June 19 and agreed to stay on until a replacement is named.

The City Council approved the hire of a firm to conduct a nationwide search for a replacement for Martin.