WKYT - Harlan - Headlines

Police: Former officer stole police equipment

By: Matthew Rand Email
By: Matthew Rand Email

CUMBERLAND, Ky. (WYMT) - He once took an oath to serve and protect his community, but tonight a former Cumberland City Police officer finds him self behind bars, accused of stealing from the department.

Officers tell us 22-year-old Keith Ray Turner was let go from the Cumberland Police Department three months ago, when city property was found to be missing. Turner was arrested Tuesday. He is charged with theft by unlawful taking.

Police say Keith Ray Turner's conduct had become more and more suspicious in the weeks leading up to his dismissal from the Cumberland Police Department.

"I started getting complaints by citizens, that he was doing improper stuff to them when he pulled them over," said Cody Williamson, an officer with the Cumberland P.D. "Illegal allegations, taking money."

Upon his termination, police say Turner failed to return several pieces of equipment issued to him, including a taser and a Police radio, items that together cost more than $2,000. A warrant for Turner's arrest was executed Thursday.

"It's taken me by surprise," Williamson said. "He come about, an officer that wanted to work hard and do a very good job for the Cumberland Police Department."

City of Harlan Police assisted Turner's arrest Thursday. They say it is a difficult and unique situation when a past or present police officer finds himself on the wrong side of the law.

"This is an honorable profession, and when someone dishonors it, actually we want to right the wrong," said Harlan Police Chief Mike Thomas.

About three weeks after Turner was fired, police located the radio. A relative told police Turner had sold it to him for $50. The investigation is ongoing as police work to recover the rest of the missing items.

Turner is being held at the Harlan County Detention Center on a $2,000 cash bond. He declined our request for an interview.

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