Officer placed on paid administrative leave
Internal investigation to be completed by Yavapai County
In the midst of shootings, reorganizations, the loss of a new police chief and subsequent hiring of another, it has now been revealed that another officer with the Williams Police Department is the focus of an internal investigation at the request of fellow officers.
"It is an investigation concerning allegations some of the other officers have made," said Williams City Manager Dennis Wells.
Officer Jason Moore, son of Williams City Councilman and former Williams police chief John Moore, has been with the department since graduating first in his class from police academy training in May 2002 and was placed on paid leave when the investigation began at the end of January.
No other details are available and though the issue may raise a few eyebrows, Wells and Assistant City Manager Joe Duffy ‹ who has temporarily been placed in charge of the department's administrative capacities only ‹ both said that such investigations are actually quite commonplace whenever personnel issues need to be addressed.
The Coconino County Sheriff's Office declined handling the matter, since they are already engaged in an investigation of a Feb. 5 fatal shooting involving another WPD officer.
The matter will most likely being handled by a Yavapai County law enforcement agency, but WPD and city staff were unable to confirm.
What does concern city staff is that the story was somehow leaked to a Flagstaff media outlet when it shouldn't have been.
"We are concerned that this information was released prior to the investigation being completed," Duffy said.
So as not to allow undue influence of the outcome, internal investigations are not considered public information until they are complete.
In the meantime, the CCSO is continuing its investigation into the Feb. 5 fatal shooting of a Williams man ‹ 39-year-old Roger Heath Jensen ‹ involving WPD Officer Chee Burnsides. According to reports, the officer was forced to use his service weapon when a physical altercation ensued between him and Jensen inside the Williams police station. Jensen had been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
At press time, Det. Lt. Rex Gilliland, of the CCSO Criminal Investigations Division, had nothing to add to the current information, but did say he hoped to have the matter before the prosecutor's office in as little as one or two days. He also indicated he would like to hold a press conference on the issue as well.
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