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BC chief seeks to bring in FBI to investigate department

Updated: Saturday, August 3, 2013 |
BC chief seeks to bring in FBI to investigate department story image
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - After several public embarrassments and tough questions by a city commissioner, Battle Creek Police Chief Jackie Hampton says he wants to bring in an outside agency to investigate his department.

"These are professional men and women, they do a fine job for our citizens and we're not perfect by any means but to call us corrupt, I have a serious issue with that, so I did contact the FBI," says Hampton.

Hampton says he asked the FBI three weeks ago to do a full review of the department and says he has nothing to hide.
 
But he has been feeling the pressure from city commissioner Jeff Domenico in particular who, as the I-Team uncovered last month, sent this email to the Attorney General's office asking it to investigate the department.

It contains an anonymous letter said to be from an officer which says in part, I watched officers "commit acts of excessive force, evidence destruction and internal cover-ups in crime reporting."

The Attorney General declined to investigate, Domenico says he has reached out to MSP to step in.

"I want them to take a look to the conclusion of this.  My dad has a saying, put up or shut up, I think that needs to occur in this case because it has been going on for quite a while," says Hampton.

But it’s not just Commissioner Domenico.  The department has been criticized for its handling of last summer’s case of an off duty officer who was caught drinking and driving after he crashed a car with another officer drunk inside.

And this week Newschannel Three broke the news that veteran officer Laurie Gillespie was fired after surveillance cameras in a police locker room caught her stealing.  

"So it was important to get to the bottom of this and not let it linger on, that's why I contacted the FBI to see if they can look into issues," says Hampton.

Domenico has said he has received evidence of corruption in the department and would like to see the city appoint its own third party investigator to examine the department.

The FBI would not say whether it is currently investigating Battle Creek Police or plans to.
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Last Update on October 31, 2014 17:47 GMT

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The University of Michigan says that its index of consumer sentiment rose to 86.9 from 84.6 in September. That's the highest since July 2007, five months before the Great Recession began. Still, the index regularly topped 90 before the downturn.

Richard Curtin, the survey's chief economist, says that almost six in ten of the respondents said the economy has improved recently, the highest proportion in more than 10 years.

The measure is the second this week to show consumer confidence has reached the highest level since the recession. Greater confidence and more hiring could lead to faster spending and healthier economic growth.

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The Commerce Department says consumer spending dropped 0.2 percent in September. Income edged up 0.2 percent in September, the smallest monthly gain since a flat reading last December.

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Spending is closely watched because it accounts for 70 percent of economic activity. Economists believe September will be a temporary pause as continued hiring gains pushing up spending and the overall economy in coming months.

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