Written by: Autumn Smith
On March 5th, newly appointed interim Police Chief Jim Blocker announced that a internal investigation involving two officers was currently under way within the department. Blocker declined to release any further details regarding who the investigation involved or what was being investigated. City employees, administration and officers were instructed not to comment or discuss anything about the investigation with the media.
Through PaleoRadio’s 10 month long investigation into the BCPD and Battle Creek City Administration, this author can say with confidence that the two individuals whom are being investigated are Deputy Chief Jim Saylor and Inspector Maria Alonso. Throughout our investigation we have learned of the inappropriate affair and now on-going relationship that Saylor and Alonso have been involved in. Court documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, outline the very affair between Saylor and Alonso and even mentions a “I Love You” [sex] video and text messages between Alonso and Saylor found on Saylor’s phone by his now ex-wife. (See court documents below)
But it’s more than just the relationship-It’s much bigger than that.
If you remember just a few weeks back when Jackie Hampton announced his “retirement”– instead of stepping up to the plate to take over the reigns as interim chief of police, Saylor refused to step up, citing he was looking at his employment options elsewhere.
Saylor and Alonso were also two individuals who were directly involved with and are named in the lawsuit involving unauthorized camera’s being placed in the female locker room in the police department. A lawsuit that most likely will cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. Along with that, there is the possible destruction of evidence and obstruction of justice charges that they could be facing if pursued since “magically” only two videos of the surveillance in the female locker room exist, the other videos supposedly have been destroyed. (How convenient!)
Then you have the violation of the take-home vehicle policy. Alonso has been seen numerous times using her patrol vehicle to take her triplet children to and from daycare/school. Saylor’s take home vehicle has been spotted next to Alonso’s personal vehicle in the Sam’s Club parking lot while they were both inside shopping together. (See photo’s)
It’s actually quite simple and comes down to a matter of liability and risk. The nefarious behavior and actions of these two individuals has obviously become a huge liability and put the city at risk . Therefore it makes sense that a investigation is underway to determine how serious of a risk and liability these individuals have become and to evaluate their employment status with the very city they have and continue to put at risk.
While many people are scratching their heads asking questions and wondering what is going on. We here are sitting back and saying “Told ya so!” All of the shake-up’s, retirements, and resignations with city leadership comes as no surprise to those of us that can connect the dots, and whom have been bringing these issues up publicly and to the commission. The corrupt house of cards is falling, as it should; and those involved or responsible are jumping ship as fast as they can.
What is being witnessed right now isn’t a lack of leadership in the city–its just the opposite, you are seeing true leaders take action as leaders– making hard decisions and addressing hard issues that were previously ignored or exacerbated by previous city officials who lacked the integrity to be a leader and deal with the issues at hand. Problems are being addressed. Changes are taking place. Decisions are being made and an wonderful opportunity for new leadership across the board for the City of Battle Creek is upon us. Change is happening and for the better. The issues didn’t happen overnight nor are they going to get resolved overnight–but the leadership that has stepped up to the plate–especially during such a tumultuous time–they need to be given a chance and opportunity to show the type of leaders we have among us. And if this internal investigation is any indication of the changes that lie ahead, well then this reporter may not have much more reporting to do on the city and BCPD in the future.