Veteran patrol officer fired over suspicion of DWI

Friday, December 4, 2009 | 3:04 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton fired a veteran patrol officer Friday because of his November arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

Ted Anderson, 47, was arrested at 1:56 a.m. on Nov. 24 for failing to keep his car in one lane while driving near the intersection of North Eighth Street and North Boulevard, department Public Information Officer Jessie Haden said last week.

Anderson has worked with the Columbia Police Department for 18 1/2 years.

At the time of the arrest, Anderson was driving his personal vehicle while off duty, Deputy Chief Tom Dresner said in a news release.

He was placed on administrative leave with pay while the department investigated the incident, Haden said last week.

"This difficult decision was necessitated as a result of the arrest and issues surrounding the arrest," Dresner said in the release. "While his guilt or innocence has yet to be determined in a court of law, Chief Burton saw this action as necessary in the best interests of the entire Columbia Police Department."

Anderson is the only officer this year to be arrested in an alcohol-related incident, Haden said.

The police department declined to comment further.

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Anthony DeWitt December 7, 2009 | 12:19 p.m.

This is sad. There has not been a finding of guilt or innocence, but the city fires this officer anyway? A veteran with a year and a half to go to retirement? Drunk on duty: fire him. Drunk on his own time, hey, every dog gets one bite. You don't throw away a man's career over one incident. Everyone has a bad day now and then.

This is not something the officer should take lying down. I hope he fights and gets reinstated. This is what happens when you bring in people from far away to run your cop shop: you get bad decisions.

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