ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH) – The chief of the Anderson Police Department has been removed from his position.
Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. is removing Chief Tony Watters after Watters allegedly got into an argument with Indiana State Police officers.
According to documents from the Madison County prosecutor’s office, Chief Watters’ son, Adam Watters, who is also an Anderson police officer, was accused of attacking his girlfriend in July. When police went to talk to Adam, Chief Watters wasn’t happy to see police cars outside his home.
Indiana State Police took over the case involving Adam, knowing there was a conflict of interest with his father being the police chief, but prosecution documents state that Chief Watters tried to use his position by intimidating and yelling at the officers around his home.
“He did a little more than just waving his arms,” Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said. “He was giving the state police the finger, he told them this was his effing town, he called them goons, put his hand on his gun and said ‘I got one of those too.'”
Soon after, the issue was brought up with Mayor Broderick, but the mayor felt he didn’t have all of the information.
“They told him exactly what happened,” Cummings said. “He didn’t need the report. He was told by eyewitnesses, two lieutenants with the state police, exactly what happened. To suggest he needed the reports is a ridiculous excuse.”
It wasn’t until Monday when the mayor made the decision to remove Chief Watters from office.
“As a former prosecutor, I’ve read thousands and thousands of police reports, so I know how they’re written,” Mayor Broderick said. “I know what’s in them and how they look. You can tell when you read one, from the tone of it, sort of the voracity- if you want to call it that. And I just wanted to be fair to the chief and I wanted to be fair to the process.”
Mayor Broderick said he appreciates the work of the chief and that the situation is unfortunate.
“I’m just suggesting that the amount of discourse that was going on, it was really just in the best interest of the department and also of the community in general,” Mayor Broderick said.
Until the upcoming election is over, an interim chief will be put in place.
“I wouldn’t even say it was abuse of power,” Mayor Broderick said. “But I would say that all people are human and mistakes are made from time to time, and in real life, there’s consequences for actions.”
Chief Watters isn’t going to be charged or arrested for anything, and will remain chief of police until his last day, October 13.