They are sworn to protect and serve.
But an investigation has found a Northeast North Dakota Police chief is accused of breaking the law on numerous occasions while on duty — including accusations he assaulted a child.
Matthew Anderson was sworn-in as Rolla Police Chief back in April.
His stint lasted just four months.
The city fired him during an emergency eight-minute hearing after learning he was under investigation by the BCI and FBI for allegedly committing crimes while in uniform.
This is the outline of the allegations prepared by the Rolette County State’s Attorney for the North Dakota Post Board as they decided to strip Rolla Police Chief of his license during its August meeting.
According to statements at that hearing, the investigation ramped up when a newly hired Rolla police officer approached a BCI agent at training and asked if he knew that his boss, Chief Matt Anderson, had wrecked two cruisers by hitting “fix objects.”
The repair bills topped $4,000. Records show the chief never reported the crashes as required by law.
But according to these documents obtained by WDAY News — there is a list of more potential serious legal problems — including excessive force claims.
Anderson reportedly tased a pregnant woman who refused to leave an apartment. And there is an ongoing FBI investigation that the chief reportedly lied about to his bosses. These documents say the chief became upset a 16-year-old girl gave him a fake name — so he held her down at a health center and told doctors to put a catheter in her for a urine sample.
ND Post Board Meeting Comment: 38:50 — “We found two more victims, who were catheterized at the direction of chief Anderson, on none of those occasions did he have a court order or a search warrant or any reason to get the catheter,” said Craig Zachmeier, of the ND BCI.
In their report, the BCI noted a pattern of lying as chief — including falsifying a search warrant and illegally using a man as a confidential informant during a drug investigation.
ND Post Board Meeting Comment 44:00 — “Basically said he had to do a controlled buy, pulled him into a side room, told him if he doesn’t give me that urine sample I’m going to put a catheter on you,” said Craig Zachmeier, of the ND BCI.
And in exchange — the Chief would make a pending domestic assault case go away.
ND Post Board Meeting Comment 44:43 — “He signed a piece of paper, that I have not been able to locate, that says if you do this I am going to drop all the charges,” said Craig Zachmeier, of the ND BCI.
It was also discovered by the BCI that there was a member of the Rolla PD who thought he was an officer — but really wasn’t.
Chief Anderson never turned in his paperwork and was patrolling unsupervised.
ND Post Board Meeting Comment 41:00 — “He was stopping cars, making arrests, going on calls and he was never licensed to do so,” said Craig Zachmeier, of the ND BCI.
WDAY spoke with Chief Anderson today. He said he couldn’t comment at the advice of his lawyer but is looking forward to one day sharing his story. He did point out he did not admit or contest the allegations.
Matthew Anderson Comment 11:10 — My time with Rolla and the residents with Rolla was a wonderful time, and I still thank the city for giving me the opportunity. I am trying to look at it as a positive experience in life.
Anderson’s driving habits were also called into question.
Other officers said he would drive through town with lights and sirens on even though there was no call.
Prior to coming to Rolla, Anderson worked as a deputy in Adams County — in southwest North Dakota.
According to his job application, Anderson said he was looking for more opportunities because the county was eliminating a deputy position.
But according to these documents he wrecked a cruiser, and when the sheriff confronted him about it he told the sheriff it was none of his business and quit.