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Mayberry Isn’t in Ohio

Brimfield Township, Ohio, Police Chief David Oliver, 47, liked to bill himself as “America’s Chief” — an “Andy of Mayberry” chief of the people. He had a massive following on the department’s Facebook page: 177,000 people “Liked” his “conservative rants” there; the town itself only has 8,000 residents. Inside the department, though, his officers were unhappy. Officer Crystal Casterline, 37, said the chief acted inappropriately with her, like asking if she ever performed oral sex on a black man, hugging her so tightly she couldn’t get away, or demanding to know when she lost her virginity. She told him repeatedly to stop, but he ignored her. For two years, “I felt helpless and humiliated,” Casterline said. “These guys on the department were all there seeing this.” They all knew about the chief’s behavior firsthand, since she wasn’t his only victim: he would “dry hump” male officers, and slap them in the testicles. “It’s worse than high school,” said another officer, confirming Casterline’s charges. “He’s just like a bully in the playground.” But “nobody wants to go against him,” a third officer said. “We all know he’ll make our lives hell.” The final straw was when Casterline had a medical emergency at the station. As she struggled to breathe, paramedics stripped her to her bra to attach a heart monitor. Chief Oliver started taking photos, shouting, “Hey, everybody! I just got to second base with Casterline!” The chief was suspended and, when it appeared he would be fired, he abruptly retired, saying he suffered from panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder. (RC/Akron Beacon Journal) ...You can’t be Andy when you can’t even muster the maturity of Opie.
Original Publication Date: 08 February 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 21.

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