CHICAGO (CBS)—Police officers in St. John, Indiana, are calling out their police chief, claiming they’re afraid to do their jobs out of fear of retaliation.
Five officers went to the City Clerk and several patrolmen have contacted CBS 2, all with identical stories about harassment and fear and a quota for the number of tickets issued each day.
“People are afraid of losing their jobs,” said Corporal Steven Rudzinski of the St. John Police Department. “We have officers with years on that are applying with other departments.”
Rudzinski says one of his fellow officers was allegedly battered when he was called into Police Chief James Kveton’s office for failing turn in his time sheet.
“The chief had words with him and battered him,” Rudzinski said.
The officer says Kveton slapped him. One officer tells CBS 2 he could hear it from the hall.
That was in July, and since then that officer had heard nothing about an “on-going” investigation.
Retired federal officer David Delgado, who lives in St. John, said he heard about what was going on and started reaching out to other officers.
“They’re basically trying to sweep it under the rug and there’s been no resolution to the investigation,” Delgado said.
By Nov. 20, five police officers had made formal reports to the clerk, saying they were afraid to do their jobs out of fear of retaliation.
One example is a mandate requiring officers to issue two tickets per day.
“So they’re forcing us to write tickets to people we really don’t think deserve one,” Rudzinski said. “We end up picking on the citizens of our own town just to satisfy a number.”
Delgado and Rudzinski addressed the Town Council Thursday night to push council members to address their complaints.
On the phone today, Town Council President Christian Jorgensen said the council isn’t responsible for addressing these types of allegations.
But according to a scathing letter from the St. John Clerk, it is.
In the letter issued to the Town Council members last night, the clerk’s office outlined the officer’s allegations and provided evidence that the chief may have been involved in discussions with the police commission—concerning the investigation.
Chief Kveton’s office on Friday declined to comment.