COLBERT, Okla. – The chief of an Oklahoma police department is apologizing for a social media post that has caused concern among members of the community.
A photo posted on social media appears to show Colbert Police Chief David Petersen flipping off the camera in his patrol car with two teenagers giving the same gesture.
“That’s disgraceful,” Charles Davis told KXII. “What kind of police department does that?”
Many residents around Colbert say they were disappointed in the actions of the chief and the teenagers in the photo.
“Just sheer disappointment that she would even pose for a photo like that,” said Jaret Tatar, the father of one of the teens.
Chief Petersen told KTEN that he is sorry for his behavior, saying it was a mistake.
“I still should have acted more professional and not done it, and I apologize for doing it and I’m not gonna let it happen again,” he said.
He told KTEN that he was trying to improve the teenagers’ interaction with police officers after they said they hated cops.
“I am going to continue to conduct my duties, but I am going to start being more… watch my P’s and Q’s and be more professional and act the way I should act,” Petersen said.
City leaders say Petersen is not in jeopardy of losing his job, adding that they believe he is the right person for the job.
The Colbert Police Department has been embattled in controversy after a previous chief was accused of having ties to neo-Nazi groups earlier this year.