BALLINGER– Ballinger Police Department patrolman Mike Herd, a master peace officer that had been with the department since 2013, was terminated last Tuesday, September 16, 2014 following an internal investigation involving accusations of racial slur.
A complaint, made on Saturday, September 6, sparked the internal investigation which was conducted by the Ballinger Police Department. The incident allegedly took place inside a cell phone store in Abilene, Texas, where Herd and two men were reportedly interchanging racial-related remarks.
“I can’t get into details about the issue but I can confirm that an investigation has been conducted and he has been terminated this morning (Tuesday),” said Ballinger Chief of Police Mark McNulty.
Herd, who was under paid administrative leave since the complaint was presented, said he will be appealing before the Ballinger City Council.
Herd said he looked for legal advice with the Texas Municipal Police Association, and will be fighting the termination. He attended the regular council meeting held on Monday, September 15, but his case wasn’t heard since it wasn’t in the agenda. The next regular council meeting will be held October 6, 2014.
Interviewed by this weekly and once the sanction was applied, Herd said he didn’t think there was a basis for his termination.
According to the accusation, Herd and two hispanic men publicly interchanged racial remarks inside the Sprint store in Abilene, Texas.
“We were laughing and joking around mutually… they were joking with me just as hard as I was with them,” Herd said.
One of the men, Herd said, apparently was troubled with the conversation and left. “I offered to give him an apology,” Herd said.
Herd questioned if his termination was related to an article printed last week by the Abilene Reporter News, in Abilene, Texas, where he was featured along with other law enforcement officers in the Big Country accused of misconduct.
According to the story Herd was booked-in in Abilene, while he was working part-time for Shackelford County accused of impersonating a security guard and running a security company without a license.
Herd explained that charges were never filed in that case because the Taylor County District Attorney refused to file them. He said the arrest took place while he was working for a night club, where he was warned by a Texas Department of Public Safety officer that as a part-time law enforcement officer he couldn’t work as a private security guard.
After that and following guidelines of trooper Ismael Orosco, Herd said, he limited his activities to checking ID’s at the door.
“About three weeks later six of them (DPS officers) came in and arrested us,” Herd explained.
Earlier, Chief McNulty said the Ballinger Police Department had knowledge of the incident in Shackelford County since Herd’s hiring, but it was until the recent complaint that Herd went under suspension and investigation.
According to his work record Mike Herd has been a Texas peace office since 1976. He served in the Texas Army Reserves from 1986-1988 and served as a contractor for SOC in Iraq in 2011. He started with the Ballinger Police Department in 2013.