Princeton Police Officers ask for merit board members to resign

Princeton Police Officers ask for merit board members to resign

PRINCETON, Ind. (WFIE) - A group of Princeton Police Officers addressed the Princeton Police Merit Board at their meeting Tuesday, and they didn’t hold back.

The officers said they are not happy with the board’s decision to reinstate Brandt George as an officer once his probation is over.

George was accused of allowing a suspect to toss a bag of heroin after his arrest.

In February, Brandt George reached a plea deal in the case for a misdemeanor charge of misconduct.

He was sentenced to 12 months in jail, which was suspended to probation.

Police say just one of the five members of the board, Cynthia Schrodt, voted to accept Chief McGraw’s recommendation to terminate George.

The officers have asked George Ballard, Rick Hickrod, Barrett Doyle, and Rick Coleman to resign from the board.

They say they have voted “no confidence” in those four board members.

Police stated that the decision not to follow Chief McGraw’s recommendation of termination showed “poor judgment”.

They also cited Brandt George’s father, W.W. George, being a former police chief of five years in Princeton, as a possible source of personal biases.

The department, with Assistant Chief Mike Hurt speaking on their behalf, stated that the board’s decision to reinstate George made it valid to question their integrity and judgment.

“You have four officers who testified and have done nothing wrong and did their job,” Hurt said. “Then you have Brandt George testify, and you’re saying you believe a person who committed a crime of dishonesty and admitted in open court he did it. You believe Brandt over all other officers?”

George’s mother, Jan Ayers was also present at the meeting and spoke.

She said that the only reason her son did not immediately retrieve the drugs in the initial incident was because the suspect in his custody was threatening him while sitting in the front seat with their hands cuffed in front of them.

Assistant Chief Hurt said later that he had been threatened by the same individual 20 years ago.

“He knew where I lived; I didn’t get scared,” Hurt said. “[George] got scared, and we can’t have cowardism [sic] in the Princeton Police Department. There’s 17 of us here, and all of us don’t want him here.”

Ayers also stated that her son immediately reported the drugs when he was back at the department. This led to some commotion in the meeting room as police said that was not true.

Police held firm that they want the merit board to resign. Hurt told 14 News that this situation was new to them, so they would have to wait and see what will happen next.

Brandt George (Princeton Police website)
Brandt George (Princeton Police website)

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