Mt. Sterling police chief speaks out regarding recent controversy

Mt. Sterling’s police chief is now speaking on camera, defending one of his officers who was fired by the city’s mayor on Tuesday.

Police Chief Brandon Norris says the reason for the termination of officer Nathan Rauch was because Mt. Sterling’s mayor wanted to re-evaluate the police department. Norris says that now leaves his department with two full-time officers, other than himself, to protect the city. 

"The guys are having to put in a little extra work," said Norris. "We are still providing the 24-hour coverage and continue to do so and we will see where it goes from there."

Norris says the reason the mayor is asking to reduce the size of the police department is because he’s unhappy with the number of DUI arrests. Norris says that’s Rauch being proactive.

"He is not only just getting what has come into question, the DUI arrests, but he’s also gotten narcotics arrests, a stolen firearm, warrants, driving suspended and a lot of other arrests," said Rauch. 

Residents we spoke with on Wednesday say the problem isn’t the DUI arrests, it’s that Rauch is "harassing" them and giving them tickets for minor violations. 

"Maybe this a failure on my behalf to not get some of the information out there about why we are proactive," said Norris. "It’s not just going out, looking for the DUI’s and that stuff that’s being claimed. It’s not to harass people. It’s to keep the community safe."

Along with firing Rauch, the mayor also put four part-time officers jobs on the chopping block. Norris says they are still currently employed with the department. 

Mt. Sterling Mayor Matthew Bradbury says he has no further comment.

Norris says Rauch plans to appeal his termination and has asked for a special city council hearing to be held May 21.

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