South Carolina Cop Indicted For Arson, Stays On Job, No Suspension

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Normally when police officers are indicted for crimes, they take a leave of absence until the allegations are resolved.

However, that's not the case in Cottageville, South Carolina, where Police Chief Charles Long has no intention of suspending or firing Officer Travis Balkom.

Balkom was arraigned this week on third-degree arson charges from a 2009 case in which two homes were set on fire in Colleton County, South Carolina. Balkom was 16 years old at the time.

"Yeah, I was stunned on it because the gentleman, he's a well-rounded officer here," Chief Long told Live 5 News. "It was just a shock. I just couldn't believe it and said, 'Really? Why?' And that's the question now, why? We don't know."

"I don't think at he all honestly set them. I think it's just hearsay through the bush to be honest with you," added Chief Long. "And I believe him one hundred percent. I will stand behind him one hundred percent on this."

Officer Balkom and three other men joined Cottageville police force in November 2014 under the new reserve program, noted The Colletonian.

Sources: The Colletonian, Live 5 News
Image Credit: Magnus Mertens


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