Polygraph says Deputy Hand is not a 'dirty' cop

Friday, July 19, 2013

CARROLL COUNTY -- An officer of the Carroll County Sheriff's Office accepted and passed a polygraph test to prove that he was wrongfully accused of being a "bad" or a "dirty" cop by a criminal informant, said Sheriff Bob Grudek in a press conference last week.

Deputy Joel Hand was eager to prove his integrity as an law enforcement officer when asked by Grudek to be tested for deception by the Arkansas State Police. A polygraph test took place July 3, and the instant results provided proof that Hand was in no way corrupt or deceptive, the sheriff said.

Hand's integrity was brought into question from several incidents.

He was accused in August 2010 by Edward "Blue John" Chevallier during an arrest by Hand. Chevallier claimed Hand used excessive force and lacked probable cause to make the arrest.

In a sworn affidavit with Carroll County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Rogers, Steve Badley claimed that Hand arrested him for DWI, without being given a field sobriety test or a Portable Breathalyzer Test. He claimed that Hand then pepper sprayed him and kicked and stomped on his head.

Grudek has also denied rumors that Deputy Joel Hand was in a car wreck that involved a different deputy.

A criminal informant also made accusations, which Grudek would not elaborate on. The events that had made people question Hand's honesty took place in the last two years and finally came to a climax after the informant alleged he was "dirty."

In an interview with Hand on July 11, he said that since he started working with CCSO in 2004, he has arrested thousands of people. Nine out of 10 arrests go smoothly, but there is always one that will be troublesome, Hand said. Hand said during his training he heard from a police instructor that all law enforcement officers face this problem: when police are questioned by their superiors or the press, people tend to lose sight of 90 percent of the good work they do and focus on the 10 percent of troublesome arrests.

Grudek said he was determined to clear up the allegations about Hand.

"We had an incident where we were requested by a colonel not to participate in a task force because of allegations about Joel," Grudek said. "It got to the point where I was tired of hearing this about him. So to put it to rest we asked him to take a polygraph test, and it showed no deception at all."

Grudek said he considers it a sad state of affairs when a known criminal's word was taken over a deputy's.

When Grudek approached Hand about the test, Hand agreed to it with zero apprehension, Grudek said, but the damage to Hand's reputation had already happened.

Hand said he had to explain to his children, whom he raises as a single father, about the allegations. One day when his son got home from school he was curious about why people were talking about his father and what it meant.

"You try explaining that to a 12-year-old," Hand said.

But he has shrugged off the events and considers them routine for his career.

"I once had a chief who was teaching a class say, 'If no one is complaining abut you, then you are not doing your job.'" Hand continued. "It is all part of the system of checks and balances."

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