Local girl accuses former Palmer officer of propositioning her
By 07/24/2003 00:00:00
The Ellis County Press
PALMER - A local teenage girl filed a complaint against a former Palmer police officer, Kenneth Shane Derden, accusing him of propositioning sex in exchange for her boyfriend not being arrested.
After receiving the complaint, Palmer Police Chief Stephen Sparks said an internal investigation was being conducted into the allegations against the officer.
Derden resigned June 12, before the investigation was completed, to reportedly go into business with his father-in-law, according to Sparks.
'I don't want to talk about it,' Derden said in a phone interview. 'Please don't call me back.'
Any information Sparks uncovered was turned over to the Texas Rangers for their investigation.
'If more information was given, it could interfere with the investigation, ' Sparks said.
'I am not going to interfere with another investigation.'
Texas Rangers Sergeant Mark Reinhardt said he would be conducting an investigation into the allegations against Derden.
Reinhardt admitted he had not been able to review all the evidence in this case because of his heavy case load and the fact he had not been on the case very long.
In recent years, several allegations have been made against officers on the Palmer Police Department.
Former Palmer officers Gleason Chuck Armitage and Bill Deal had reportedly been accused of sexual misconduct while employed .
'That's not true,' Sparks said, defending his former employees.
Sparks said both men left the department in 'good standing' to become police chiefs in other cities - Armitage in Combine and Deal in Maypearl.
All law enforcement personnel are regulated and licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
Officers are required to pass a state exam, complete a training academy, drug testing, background
check, undergo physical and psychological exams before they can receive their state license to be employed as a peace officer, according to Sparks.
'Every officer I hire has gone through the academy,' said Sparks
'Officers have to be licensed.'
Sparks said if an applicant's license is revoked or suspended the commission would notify the department of the applicants' non-qualifications.
In order to maintain their licenses TCLEOSE requires officers to go through additional accredited training courses throughout the year.