City of Colbert, citizens differ on whether police chief should resign

Published: Aug. 28, 2017 at 6:38 PM CDT
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COLBERT, Okla. (KXII) -- KXII's investigation into Colbert's new interim police chief which revealed his name linked to neo-nazi websites, has gained national attention.

The story appeared in publications and websites from New York to Alaska, generating a lot of comment.

In Colbert, the general consensus from citizens, is that they were surprised and outraged and wanted interim police chief Bart Alsbrook to resign.

But a city official said, they want to keep him. That view is different from the citizens they serve.

"It's very troubling to hear we hired a police chief with neo-nazi ties," Pastor Roddy Arnold said.

"I sure wouldn't want him stopping me," One African-American man said. The man wished to remain anonymous.

The man said after learning of Alsbrook's history, he is scared of his new town's police.

"I don't know anywhere in history where KKK, Neo-Nazis white supremacists have ideas and thoughts where they don't infringe on the rights of other people, especially the people of color," he said.

"Get out of town, just resign. This community has no place for him."

Some Colbert citizens said they blame the city council for not doing a thorough background check.

"But when you have individuals on the council who does not do their homework, who have plainly not in this particular case, they need to resign and they need to resign today," said John Poss, a former Colbert councilman.

But the recently appointed city spokesperson, Jerry Harrell, says the city council admires Alsbrook and is *not seeking his resignation.

"They don't want him to leave because he hasn't done anything they warrant, would be grounds for his dismissal," Harrell said.

Harrell said the city did a background and Council on Law Enforcement, Education and Training (CLEET) certification check before hiring Alsbrook.

"They should have done their background checks they should've done their homework, and obviously they didn't," Bethany Dunegan said.