Blemished Service Record Details Past of Glendale Officer Leading Ferguson Police Force

Glendale Police Department Commander Andre Anderson, on loan to the Ferguson (Missouri) Police Department as acting chief, has a blemished personnel record, according to a recent news report

The report reveals that Anderson was suspended three times in one year and had an order of protection filed against him by a judge after a woman alleged he hit her in the face. (The order of protection was thrown out a few weeks later, and no criminal charge was filed.)

The 419-page personnel file, also obtained by New Times, primarily contains standard employment forms and glowing annual reviews from his supervisors:  “You are always looking for new and creative ways to address crime in your division . . . you possess the skills to become a police chief if that is the direction you choose.”

But problems were mentioned.

The worst of which was that he was suspended three times during a 12-month period: once in 1996 and twice in 1997. It’s unclear what happened in the 1997 incidents, though there are references to the previous suspensions in the file — In 1996, he received a two-day suspension following an internal investigation into issues he was having while assigned to a Drug Enforcement Administration task force.

The only clarification about what happened comes from a December 1996 review by his supervisor, Sergeant David Donald: “It was noted by your supervisors at DEA that you were experiencing significant problems while assigned to the task force. These problems [led] to the initiation of an internal investigation and your transfer back to the department. From the investigation you received a memo of correction and a two-day suspension for conducting personal business on city time and falsifying official documents.

“This relates back to self-discipline. You admitted to making these errors in judgment and . . . what was also relayed to me was that even with the problems you experienced you did an excellent job in your undercover activity . . . I believe that your future ratings will show improvement in the structured environment of the patrol division.”

As reported in the online publication Vocativ, a Ferguson Police Department representative explained that “the allegation about falsifying documents actually involves a situation where Chief Anderson provided information on a mileage report in error, not out of an intentional, malicious action. The information regarding the DEA Task Force is a personnel issue and should remain so.”

There are a few mentions of Anderson failing to give proper notice before taking time off during the first years he was with the Glendale PD, but all of his recent reviews depict him as an intelligent officer and a good leader.

Sergeant David Vidaure, Glendale PD spokesman, would only say about Anderson that “the facts are all in his personnel and disciplinary file.” Vidaure declined to comment on Anderson’s past or current work because he is expected to return from his temporary position in Ferguson in early 2016.

Before working with the Glendale PD, Anderson was a motor-transport operator in the U.S. Army from 1984 to 1987. Two years after an honorable discharge, he joined the Phoenix Police Department but left nine months later. For a little while, he held a handful of other jobs — some related to law enforcement, some not — but finally applied for a job with the Glendale PD in 1991, where he’s worked since.

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Miriam is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Miriam Wasser