Despite some surveillance video that led to two Freeburg police officers' firing, St. Clair County State's Brendan Kelly says there is insufficient evidence to charge Steve Burrows and John Blomenkamp with any crime.
The village attorney said it showed the officers engaged in a variety of activity, including the lock off a drawer that contained someone else's things. On the surface that seems evidence enough; however, we'll take Kelly's word that it isn't. His record shows he is not afraid to prosecute people in law enforcement when he thinks it is warranted.
Even though they won't be charged, the Freeburg Village Board made the right call in September when it fired the officers. Beyond the issue of criminality are the concerns about the officers' compromised credibility. That's why the board got rid of them, and Kelly agreed the pair's "grossly unprofessional" actions would make it difficult to prosecute any cases they handled. He said he would have to hand over the tapes to defense attorneys, who would have a field day with them.
Often elected boards wait to see whether criminal charges are filed before deciding whether to keep or fire a police officer. But as this case illustrates, personnel decisions and criminal investigations are two separate things.