INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — The FOX 8 I-TEAM found the Independence Police Department hired an outside firm with a lie detector to question officers on the town police force after the I-TEAM reported on traffic tickets there.
Friday, we found the Independence Police Chief in the parking lot outside of headquarters and he refused to answer questions about it.
Chief Michael Kilbane said, “Send me an email with questions.”
We responded with, “We’ve done that.”
Kilbane then said, “You haven’t sent me any questions, you’ve sent records requests. Send me an email.”
In January, the I-TEAM revealed internal police documents outlining targets for traffic tickets to be written by Independence patrol officers.
Multiple sources said that led to an internal investigation looking, at least in part, into how those documents ended up in the hands of the I-TEAM.
We reminded the chief, he’s spending taxpayer money to find out who gave us the documents.
He responded again, “Send me an email.”
Christine Novak lives in Independence and she’s active with a senior citizens group.
“We’ve heard about these new traffic ticket violation quotas,” she said.
Recently, she went to a council meeting to ask Independence town leaders about this. She received silence. No response.
The I-TEAM requested the contract between Independence and the firm brought in with the lie detector. Under the contract, Independence agreed to spend $5,000 and maybe a little more if needed. We contacted the outside company. They did not provide a comment.
During the internal investigation, one police supervisor retired. Multiple sources said he left under pressure. However, he never supplied any information to the I-TEAM.
Earlier, an officer got a written reprimand for not writing enough tickets.
The chief calls it a performance standard, not a quota.
But again, no answers when we met him in the parking lot. He said, “Because I’m late to an appointment, sir.”
The I-TEAM has also asked exactly how much of your money was spent on this. At last check, Independence Police told us they have not gotten the bill yet.
The chief has also said he does not have any specific file or paperwork on the internal investigation.