Accused Prichard Cop Had Questionable Past

Accused Prichard Cop Had Questionable Past

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"Issues like this always shake the confidence of the community."


Mayor Troy Ephriam knows faith in Prichard's finest might be at an all-time low after the arrest this weekend of Officer Edmund Burke. Burke was busted in a sting allegedly trying to buy 11 pounds of cocaine, with a potential street value of nearly a million dollars.


The news has not gone over well on the streets of Prichard where citizens today told News-5 they have little confidence in their police force.


"If the police department has somebody on the staff that doing that there, then what chance do we have?" asked one woman?


Burke had been on the force less than two years. He was hired despite arrests in 2006 for possession of a controlled substance and in 2000 for interfering with custody. Both cases were null processed but that record should have kept him from ever donning a badge according to many citizens and the mayor.


"How did he make it on the police force with something like that?" questioned one Prichard resident. "Don't they do screening? Shouldn't they? So the confidence is way low. Scary."


Ephriam says Burke never should have been hired.


You can never overlook red flags like this when you trying to bring on an officer of the law to protect the safety and sanctity and peace of the community," said Ephriam. "It was a bad mistake. It was one that never should have been made."


The mayor says an investigation will now take place into all of Burke's cases and a closer look will be taken at officers hired during the previous police administration.


We have reason to believe that there are probably perhaps other officers who may not have been as adequately trained or qualified that are currently on our police force," said Ephriam.


Burke was cleared of wrong doing after shooting to death a suspect outside this gas station on MLK Avenue last December. He received psychological counseling and was returned to the force.


Burke has been suspended from force. His bond was set today at $50,000. He's due in court for an arraignment on Wednesday.


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