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EXCLUSIVE: KSHB 41 I-Team tours Independence Police Department after remodel prompts investigation

new DET Booking Hall (10_20_2021 12_45_45 PM CDT) copy.jpg
Posted at 6:33 PM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 20:23:33-05

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — On Tuesday, the KSHB 41 News I-Team toured the Independence Police Department to get a firsthand look of the work done on the facility that's prompted an investigation into one officer's use of overtime.

The tour was limited to the lower level of the police department. The upgrades mostly included paint, new carpeting in one area and updated cabinets in the break room.

PHOTOS: Before Renovations Photo Gallery

PHOTOS: After Renovations Photo Gallery

Officer Matt McLaughlin said the updates are similar throughout the building.
On Thursday, the I-Team first reported an officer logged 2,800 hours and more than $160,000 in overtime to remodel the department in 2021.

Zach Walker, city manager, said the work should never have been approved.

"What about this organizational culture within the police department ever made anybody think this was permissible," Walker said.

An audit is being conducted on the department's finances.

City records show the police officer who performed the work made more than $260,000 with overtime and regular pay combined in 2021.

The officer wrote on an overtime slip the work was approved, "Per Chief Halsey."

On Tuesday, the I-Team received 162 OT slips submitted by the officer. The latest slip was submitted on Jan. 24, 2022.

One of the slips reveals the police officer worked twice in one day. However, the hours overlap. Meaning, he was paid twice for the same shift.

Another overtime slip shows the officer logged 21 hours in one day.

Several of the slips, which detail the work performed say, "Per Chief Halsey."

Halsey left the department in December. The overtime slips indicate some of the work took place under acting police chief Ken Jarnagin.

On Monday, Jarnagin was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the city's audit.

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