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Freeburg officers fired, some citizens standing by them

BYLINE: Casey Nolen
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Freeburg, IL

Freeburg, IL (KSDK) - Two Freeburg, Illinois police officers are out of a job for allegedly breaking at least the rules and possibly the law.

The evidence against them includes an evidence locker and hidden camera footage from inside the police department.

They were fired by Freeburg, investigated by the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, and now prosecutors are deciding whether or not to charge them.

But the officers believe they are the victims and some of the citizens they served are standing with them.

The two officers are veterans of the force; one with eleven years and the other 18.

Village Mayor Ray Danford says when other officers complained the two were vandalizing department property hidden cameras were installed at the police department.

The mayor says the officers were caught violating department procedure when they entered the evidence locker. The officers' attorney says the village is targeting the two over union disputes. The Mayor says union members are fighting amongst themselves.

"They have no job," says Anne Hillyer one of the attorneys for the officers. "Their livelihood was stripped away for the most ridiculous charges you will ever read," says Hillyer who says the two will now enter arbitration with the village under the terms of the union contract. And, Hillyer says, they plan to take additional legal action against the village and the mayor.

"The term 'Freeburg's finest' shouldn't be cynical," says Mayor Danford. "It should be true."

Danford says the two officers also vandalized lockers, "ransacked" personal property of other officers and froze door locks on patrol cars.

At Tuesday night's meeting where the village board voted to dismiss the officers, Hillyer says several citizens showed up to support the two officers wearing bright orange shirts with the officers names on the front and back.


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