CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — A police officer in Cedar Park has been fired for being dishonest during an investigation into his friendship with a man suspected of multiple sexual assaults, according to the chief of police.
“We don’t allow our officers to associate with known criminals,” said Cedar Park Police Chief Sean Mannix.
It’s that simple, and Chief Mannix says former officer, James Arrick, did just that. A detective found pictures of officer Arrick on suspect Jordan Benford’s cell phone in the course of a sexual assault investigation. Chief Mannix says the pictures showed the former officer and Benford looking at motorcycles together and in a park together with girlfriends or other friends.
“I was surprised to say the least,” said Chief Mannix, “Because Mr. Benford’s past is not a secret to the members of this department.”
Benford’s past includes charges in four sexual assaults. The chief says there could be more victims. Benford is currently in the Williamson County Jail.
Mannix says not only was Arrick fired for being dishonest, he says Arrick also accessed police data to find out more about Benford without a lawful reason to do so.
The department launched an investigation into Arrick and his relationship with Benford and determined the officer didn’t belong. Arrick was let go in September.
“We have a very high standard at the Cedar Park Police Department. We require honesty. We require integrity. And when that trust is lost, then I can’t use you as a police officer any longer,” said Mannix.
Arrick is technically on an indefinite suspension — which is essentially the loss of a job. Arrick’s arbitration is scheduled for January 20, at which point he can make an argument to get his job back.