Merryville Police Chief releases more details after reserve officer arrested on rape, drug charges

Merryville Police Chief releases more details after reserve officer arrested on rape, drug charges
(Source: VPSO)

MERRYVILLE, La. (KPLC) - Merryville Police Chief Robert Thompson has released more details following the arrest of a Merryville reserve officer on charges of rape and drug abuse.

Roland Harrison, 38, of Leesville, is accused of sexually assaulting and giving drugs to a 16-year-old boy. Harrison was employed by the Merryville Police Department as a Reserve Patrolman.

After Harrison arrived at the Vernon Parish Jail he met with Assistant Chief Josh Foster and Officer Ty Helton with Merryville Police.

At that time Asst. Chief Foster and Officer Helton adviser Harrison that he would also be charged with four counts of unauthorized use of movables, stemming from the investigation conducted by the Vernon Parish Sheriffs Office.

Some police gear, including unauthorized uniforms, had been allegedly removed by the suspect without the permission of his supervisors.

A hold has been placed on Harrison for the Merryville Police Department, which means when Harrison is released from the Vernon Parish Jail he will be transported to the Beauregard Parish Jail to be booked on the additional charges.

Chief Thompson also added that Harrison completed and passed all necessary screenings before his employment at the Merryville Police Department. Those include a background check and psychological testing.

Thompson released a statement saying "At no time will a crime of this magnitude be tolerated, especially by a reserve officer or any other officer of the law, they to will be brought to justice just as in this case.

Every hiring system is not foolproof. From the State Police, to sheriff’s departments, to city police agencies, to small-town community police agencies. Bad apples somehow make it through the cracks. All law enforcement can do is make sure that once that happens, all agencies work together to ensure that person is captured and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Just as what happened in this case. All true police officers and departments believe 100 percent, that someone wearing a badge and committing a crime is even worse than someone who isn’t in law enforcement."

Chief Thompson also thanked the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Leesville Police Department for their assistance and for bringing Harrison to justice.

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