Ex-cop accused of taking guns from evidence room

The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois)
BYLINE: By Kevin Barlow;

Clinton, IL

CLINTON - A former longtime Clinton police officer was arraigned Wednesday afternoon on charges that he took guns last year from an evidence room at the Clinton police station.

Jerry Bristow, 55, wearing an orange DeWitt County jumpsuit, appeared before Judge Chris Freese. He faces eight felony charges and one misdemeanor count.

DeWitt County State's Attorney Richard Koritz said Wednesday that Bristow surrendered voluntarily on Tuesday and is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.  Bristow was returned to jail in lieu of posting $1,000 and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 4.  Bristow is accused of taking a target pistol and shotgun from the evidence room at the police station on May 12, 2008, a pistol on July 3, 2008, and a revolver on Aug. 1, 2008.

The revolver was valued at less than $300, so that incident carries the misdemeanor charge. The other gun theft charges are felonies.  He also is charged with six counts of official misconduct.

Bristow supervised the evidence room at the department and recently worked as a school resource officer before resigning Jan. 1. His resignation was not related to theft allegations, officials said.  DeWitt County Sheriff Roger Massey said Wednesday his department was asked by Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy on Friday to investigate the missing property.

In addition to his time with the Clinton department, Bristow also worked for the sheriff's department for several years. A year ago, Bristow received a watch from the city of Clinton after celebrating 25 years on the force.

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