Ferrelview police chief responds to complaints after heated meeting

Posted at 8:30 AM, Jun 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-15 10:32:07-04

A meeting at Ferrelview City Hall on Tuesday evening turned heated after discussion was held on complaints against Police Chief Dan Clayton.

Clayton is facing mounting criticism following around 25 complaints coming forward from people in the area, according to attorney Dennis Rowland.

The complaints range from Clayton ticketing for “minor” offenses, an “abuse of power”, and “harassment” towards some residents. On Tuesday, residents continued a call to the Ferrelview Board of Trustees to fire Clayton.

After the meeting concluded, 41 Action News spoke to Chief Clayton about the alleged offenses.

“When you have to do what you are supposed to do, nobody likes that,” explained Chief Clayton, who has served in his position for less than a year. “But respect is always there. I'm firm but fair." 

Regarding the alleged “harassment," Chief Clayton said his behavior is likely being taken the wrong way.

“If you stop someone nowadays, it’s considered as harassment,” he said. “It's not ‘You're doing your job.’"

During a public comment segment of Tuesday’s meeting, several residents stood up and brought forward more complaints. One of the residents, Susanne Gilheaney, looked directly at Chief Clayton during her speech.

Related: Ferrelview police chief facing calls to step down

Gilheaney contends that Chief Clayton unlawfully put her in jail.

According to Gilheaney, after her friend was pulled over by Chief Clayton for not using a turn signal, the officer informed her she had an outstanding warrant. Gilheaney says her friend then went to the hospital to deal with a nervous reaction to the news.

Her friend forgot to pay the ticket she was issued, and later on, Gilheaney says she was confronted by Chief Clayton. When he asked her about paying the ticket, Gilheaney says she walked away and headed towards an ATM to take out money.

As a result of walking away, Gilheaney says Chief Clayton put her in jail for resisting arrest.

“(He is) aggressive, bullying, and intimidating,” said Gilheaney following the meeting. “I just want him out. This place is such a lovely place."

Several other residents voiced their displeasure at the meeting on Tuesday.

Some spoke out of turn during the meeting, shouted concerns, and brought up further issues. Others spoke in support of Chief Clayton.

Several neighbors said Chief Clayton has cracked down on drug and gang issues in Ferrelview, and has helped keep the area safe during his time as chief. Unfortunately for Chief Clayton, complaints were not the only thing he dealt with on Tuesday evening.

Attorney Dennis Rowland served Chief Clayton with an order to appear in court to answer to accusations that he tore down signs on private property calling for people to come forward with complaints about him.

Board of Trustees member Frank Baumann was also served with a court notice to answer to accusations he defamed a resident of Ferrelview and called him a “drug dealer."

Derrick Hayes is the resident behind the case involving Baumann, and the accusations stem from a traffic stop on Hayes by Chief Clayton.

Rowland has contended that the traffic stop was unlawful, and as Hayes tried to gather support for complaints against the police chief, Chief Clayton went on a “power trip."

Both Chief Clayton and Baumann have September court dates to answer to the orders presented on Tuesday evening.

After the meeting concluded, Board of Trustees Chairman Steve Carr said he supported the police chief. The Platte County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the complaints against Chief Clayton.


Tom Dempsey can be reached at

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