Traverse City Record-Eagle


March 25, 2009

Leelanau County hires new deputies

SUTTONS BAY -- The scenery won't much change for new Leelanau County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Bailey.

Bailey worked for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians' police department for about 10 years, and attained the rank of captain. He and new Leelanau Deputy Matt Green began work last weekend, and both said they're excited to join the department.

"I just wanted to be a part of a great group of people," Bailey, 30, said.

Green, 39, worked at Home Depot before finally deciding to chase his lifelong goal of becoming a police officer. He graduated from Northwestern Michigan College's police academy in 2006, and his new job marks his first try at full-time police work.

"My wife said, 'You always wanted to be a cop, why don't you pursue it?'" Green said.

Bailey and Green replace Chris Roberts and Bruce Beeker. Beeker recently resigned from the department amid allegations he sent a sexual e-mail to a fellow employee, and Roberts was fired after Grand Traverse County authorities arrested him for drunken driving last month.

Beeker's e-mail, sent while on duty Jan. 23, contained a video of naked women washing a car, according to an internal investigation obtained by the Record-Eagle under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. The employee who received it reported it to administrators, who launched an investigation.

Beeker resigned Feb. 20, the same day a disciplinary hearing was scheduled. He had been on desk duty after a lengthy labor dispute stemming from inappropriate contact he had with a female assault suspect in early 2006.

Roberts caused a crash while driving drunk on U.S. 31 near Meijer Feb. 3, and Sheriff Mike Oltersdorf fired him Feb. 25. He eventually pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of operating while intoxicated on March 3 and was sentenced to six months probation.

Oltersdorf is happy with his two new hires, which will bring his road patrol unit back to full staffing levels.

"They're both very high-caliber, good family men with roots in the community," he said. "They're outstanding officers."

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