UPDATE: CUTBM Responds to the Midland PD Homeless Controversy 02/22/14
CBS 7 News
February 22, 2014
MIDLAND—In light of an internal investigation involving two Midland Police Officers, who made a competition of collecting home made homeless signs, Evan Rogers with Church Under The Bridge Midland (CUTBM) inquired with homeless members of his church regarding the overall treatment they have received from the department.
Following the Saturday morning service, Rogers spoke with many members individually about their individual encounters with Midland Police Officers and ask them if any had been mistreated or felt that their rights had been violated—the answer was unanimously no.
“Typically we have a pretty good relationship with them (police officers), and so do the homeless, but unfortunately a mistake by two officers has kind of made it bad for the police department,” Rogers said.
Hillbilly, a homeless man who has held up plenty of signs asking for help, says he hasn’t experienced any bad confrontations with any officers.
“Very few of them are rude, very few. Most of them are pretty nice, they just tell you not to do it (pan handle),” Hillbilly said.
Rogers wants the community to know that despite the actions of the two officers, this isn’t a common occurrence and considered it was an isolated case, which has now made the department look bad.
“It’s unfortunate, because we all make mistakes, that’s the type of work we all do here (at CUTBM), we help people who make mistakes,” Rogers said.
If anyone from the homeless community felt they were being treated unjustly, Rogers says no one would hesitate or have a problem telling him, but that hasn’t been the case. He says these two officers happened to be the bad apples of the group and now have smeared the good reputation that the Midland Police Department had in cases involving the homeless.
MIDLAND-After the details of an internal investigation involving two Midland Police Officers, who were collecting homeless signs as a competition, were released earlier this week, Evan Rogers with Church Under The Bridge Midland spoke with the homeless members of his church to discover if this had affected any of them.
Rogers said no one in his congregation had reported having any problems with any local officers. He and the members of his church also understand why the officers took the signs, knowing that it's illegal to pan handle in the city.
For the most part Rogers says the homeless community involved with CUTBM hasn't ever complained about the local police department ever treating them unjustly, in fact, they claim that the department has a record of positively working with the organization and the homeless community in the area.
Rogers also says that the actions of two "bad apples" should not define the department as a whole.