Brimfield police officers speak out at meeting

Katie Nix

TV2 reporter Tyler Carey on the Brimfield Police Chief from on Vimeo.

Current and former officers spoke out against former police chief David Oliver at the Brimfield Township Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday.

“There was two sides to Chief Oliver,” former officer Bill Atha said. “There was the guy who was out in the open, hugging everybody, shaking hands, patting everybody on the back and being very nice. And then there was the administrator, the manager of the Brimfield Police Department and how he dealt with us officers. And in that grade, he flunked.”

Atha, who currently works for the Kent State Police Department, said that as the union representative for the department, he occasionally got into arguments with Oliver regarding union violations.

“He got upset,” Atha said. “He cursed. He swore. He threatened. I got into it with him. I went home and told my wife, and she started crying. She told me ‘You need to go apologize to him or you’re going to lose your job.’”

A current Brimfield officer, Russ Diehl, said interim chief Chris Adkins was the reason he was still with the department, not Oliver.

“We work together as a team, but we were the only ones who showed up for the events that the chief was so proud of,” Diehl said. “Half the time he wasn’t even there. We need to support (Adkins). He knows and supports everything we do here.” 

Adkins, who has been acting as the leader of the force since Jan. 13 when Oliver was suspended and subsequently retired, said the department has to deal with the negative press it has gotten recently and move forward.

“The programs are going to stay the same, and we’re going to keep doing what you expect,” Adkins said. “We’ve got a job to do out there.”

Trustee Mike Kostensky said Adkins had really been the leader of the department for much longer than the last week.

“There were definitely issues with as quickly as we were going through officers,” Kostensky said. “We need stability. We also need to stop bashing Crystal (Casterline). It takes one person to stop things and we need to thank her for what she did.”

Contact Katie Nix at [email protected]. Contact Tyler Carey at [email protected].