Bismarck police officer arrested
By: CJ Cassidy
By: CJ Cassidy
Bismarck, MO - It's the talk of the town after a police officer finds himself on the wrong side of the law.
How carefully do police departments screen new hires?
That's what people in Bismarck want to know after a brand new officer pleads guilty to a series of traffic violations.
The Bismarck Chief fired 21-year-old Adam Reese, and he's currently on probation.
"He brought a lot of negativity to this town there's a bunch of good guys here," Sissy Cole, a Bismarck resident, says.
But others now look beyond the officer in question.
They want to know why Chief Dave Dickerson hired Reese in the first place.
"I normally make sure they don't have any felony criminal background. Traffic is a factor but it's nothing to keep him from getting the job," Dickerson says.
According to him, a license check on April 16th came back clean, but just three days later, Park Hills Police stopped Reese for allegedly stealing gas at a Caseys.
Turns out Reese was driving on a suspended Missouri Driver's License, and operating a motorcycle without the required license, insurance or tags.
What he did hold, was a license from the Missouri Department of Public Safety; the only mandatory requirement for police in the Show Me State.
"It's negligence on my part; our part because he did go through the board," Dickerson says.
That board being the city council..
Now Dickerson says he plans on stepping up background checks, and other law enforcement officers say that's a good idea.
"Anyone that's out there representing the people of Missouri or a city or county deserve to have best they can have that kind of policy. It would help ensure get better people in there," Sheriff Dan Bullock of Ste. Francois County says.
Other police chiefs in the area say policies vary by department when it comes to hiring officers.
They say a lot of smaller cities hire whoever they can because they can't afford to pay very much in the first place.
On the flip side, people in Bismarck say because of the lack of manpower, the few officers they do take on, ought to be top notch.
Reese bonded out of the St. Francois County Jail.