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Embattled North Texas Police Chief Finds New Position

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A fleet of parked black and white police cars. | Image by Shutterstock

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An ex-North Texas chief of police who resigned after allegations of racist language has been recruited by another city, WFAA reports.

Brad Anderson served as police chief in Alvarado until his resignation in August of last year. He has now been selected to fill the role of police chief in Pelican Bay.

The chief’s resignation came after an investigation was conducted into the use of reportedly racist language in a video that had been anonymously sent to an Alvarado city official.

According to the investigative report released last August, Alvarado municipal council member Tracy Melson received a message from an unknown sender on Facebook in June of 2021. Per the report, the message contained a video in which a person talked about being “Irish/Black (1/16th Black) and using the N-word.”

No one’s face was revealed in the video, and the report stated there was “no way to ascertain where the video was taken.”

After Melson reported the video to the City, officials asked independent human resource consultant Terri Swain to conduct an investigation by studying the video and questioning numerous individuals, including Anderson. WFAA acquired the report by submitting a request for public information.

Melson was also one of the people interviewed. She asserted to investigators that it was “very distinctly Brad Anderson’s voice” that could be heard in the video, according to a statement included in the report.

The document noted that Melson and her husband, Alvarado Police Officer Gary Melson, “have been public critics of [Anderson] and how he has run the department.”

As part of the investigation, Anderson underwent and passed a polygraph test, indicating, per the polygraph examiner, that he was not the person on the tape. Other people questioned during the inquiry are cited in the document saying they had doubts that the voice was Anderson’s.

According to the report, the investigation enlisted the services of an audio/visual forensic analyst, who concluded that the video had not been altered in any way and that Anderson’s voice was a “probable but not positive” match for the one in the recording.

Unable to contact the original Facebook messenger, Swain determined in her investigation that “there [was] not enough evidence to sufficiently conclude that the voice on the video was Brad Anderson.”

Swain recommended that Anderson not be terminated; however, she advised that the report remain in Anderson’s file in case there were other allegations or Melson came forward with further claims.

The findings of the investigation were published on August 23, 2021. Anderson submitted his resignation to the City the next day.

His letter stated, “I hereby resign my position with the City of Alvarado, Texas, effective August 24, 2021. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the residents of the City of Alvarado.”

Anderson did not provide a reason for his resignation.

WFAA was able to speak with Anderson for a short period over the phone after learning he was chosen as police chief for Pelican Bay. He denied any involvement in the video that had been investigated, stating that “all that stuff [in Alvarado] was proven false.”

Anderson also said neither he nor the mayor of Pelican Bay, Tamra Olague, would comment on the matter. Olague did not respond to WFAA’s requests for comment.

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