Temple: PD chief issues statement after incidents involving 3 officers

Temple’s interim police chief issued a statement Thursday after separate incidents involving three officers, saying he doesn’t want the “incidents (to) define this department. (Staff photo/file)
By  | 

TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) Interim Temple police Chief Jim Tobin issued a statement Thursday after separate incidents involving three of the department’s 154 officers, saying he doesn’t “want the work of our other officers to be overshadowed by these three isolated incidents or have (the) incidents define this department.”

Since December, one officer was involved in a deadly shooting, another drew criticism for his actions during the arrest of an autistic resident and a third was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated.

“I do not want the work of our other officers to be overshadowed by these three isolated incidents or have incidents define this department,” he said.

“The men and women of the Temple Police Department have continued their commitment to serve our community throughout these difficult times and will continue to do so after the final dispositions."

• On Dec. 2, Officer Carmen Cruz, 52, shot and killed Michael Dean, 28, after a pursuit following an attempted traffic stop. Few details have been released as Texas Rangers investigate, but a brief police report filed with the Texas Attorney General’s Office says Dean died after he was struck by a shot fired from the officer’s weapon during “an altercation of some sort” following the brief chase. The report says that during the altercation in the 3200 block of Little River Road, “DeCruz’s service weapon discharged, striking Michael Dean.”

• On January 14, Officer Jacob Perkins pulled an autistic man, Sergei Hall, 30, out of a roadway on Jan. 14, took him to the ground in a grassy area and then arrested him for evading arrest. Police on Wednesday said the officer’s actions “did not violate any department policies or procedures.”

• On Monday evening, Officer Joseph Clark a 15-year-veteran of the Temple Police Department was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. He was off-duty at the time. He’s on administrative leave.

“The goal of this department when an officer is under investigation is to support the individual as a member of the department and as a human being while also holding them accountable if they have violated any of the department’s policies or procedures,” Tobin said.