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Okla. Cop Fired for Toddler Urination Ticket

November 23, 2012  | 

A Piedmont (Okla.) Police officer who lost his job over a public urination ticket he wrote was just doing his job, his attorney said Wednesday.

Ken Qualls, 45, wants his job back, attorney Jarrod Leaman said.

Qualls, who has 18 years' experience as a law officer, was investigating complaints of someone urinating on vehicles when he wrote the ticket Nov. 4 to Ashley Warden because her 3-year-old son, Dillan, dropped his pants in the family's front yard.

Read the full Oklahoman story.

Comments (17)

Displaying 1 - 17 of 17

bpd3733 @ 11/26/2012 9:52 PM

Don't give me that "just doing my job" garbage. Writing a ticket for something a 3 year old did is wrong. Too stupid to be on patrol without supervision. I wouldn't have fired him. But I sure would have required a vacation and a few counseling sessions before sending him back out on duty.

cj @ 11/27/2012 3:21 AM

I really don't know the reasoning here for issuing a 3-yr old a citation. I'm pretty sure in most, if not all states, that a 3-yr old is incapable of forming the intent to commit a crime, therefore, no prosecutor or judge would even consider allowing this case in a courtroom, so why write a citation in a situation like that? The officer needed to brush up on his law concerning arresting and prosecuting juveniles and the age of 'reason' in order to form intent.

Nichole @ 11/27/2012 4:22 AM

CJ, honey... reading comprehension. The citation was issued to the mother, as it should have been (if one was going to be issued). As a parent, you are responsible for what your minor children do.

Marshal @ 11/27/2012 4:36 AM

We don't know the full story. Maybe the officer had said something to the mother about the kid urinating and she became a B*tch and talked her way into a ticket. Other then that I don't see any reason for a ticket being issued for this. If this wasn't the case the officer showed bad judgement in issuing a ticket but not worth firing over. What policy did he violate to be terminated?

Ken @ 11/27/2012 6:40 AM

At best, this is one of the worst applications of police discretion ever. The PO has no common sense and probably fails to exercise proper discretion each and every day and is not a credit to the profession.

hank hill @ 11/27/2012 7:14 AM

omg what else has this dumbazz done in the past 18 years on the job? he sure as hell chose a very strange way to get his 15min!

Phil @ 11/27/2012 8:28 AM

We were not there and we do not know what happened outside of the news report that was not very informative, imagine that.
What we do know is that the officer talked with his supervisor before he wrote the citation, so he was probably doing what he was being told, or possibly ordered, to do. He did not do anything that was illegal, or immoral, and although we initially think it may be not the wisest course of action, we do not know what happened.
Was the family teaching the child to pee in the yard because it was cute and they could get away with it? Was that family the target of the directed patrol ref the continuing neighborhood disturbances? Is the city manager friends, or more, with the mother? Did the officer do as ordered or did he disobey his supervisor? What happened to the supervisor? If turns out to be a bad decision, is it the officers first in 18 years or a continuing problem?
Until we know the totallity of the circumstances we should not rush to judgement against any officer or employee.

S.S @ 11/27/2012 8:36 AM

After reading this article the word "discretion", comes to mind. I can't beleive that he issued the citation. I think a few words to the parent would've been suffice. I'm also thinking along the lines of what Marshal posted. Maybe the mother did act like a bitch but we hold ourselves to higher standards and the citation shouldn't of been written. Him being fired is going overboard, way overboard. I hope he gets his job back. Just hopefully he uses a lot more common sense next time.

Bob @ VA @ 11/27/2012 10:21 AM

The exercise of discretion by the officer could have accomplished all that needed to be. This quote from the article, "The ticket was written for public urination, but was amended to contributing to the delinquency of a minor." smacks of retaliation by the officer against the family. Maybe a reprimand would be appropriate for a rookie, but this represents an unacceptable lack of judgment for an officer with 18 years of experience. One has to wonder about Qualls' fitness to carry a badge and firearm if he cannot handle such a trivial situation with maturity. I'm sure that figured prominently in the town's decision.

PC @ 11/27/2012 10:22 AM

Just looking at the facts that are presented here, the Officer was investigating a complaint that someone was peeing on vehicles. This was an extra patrol area due to other activities also. The act was witnessed and he contacted his supervisor prior to writing the ticket. Now, not that I am proud of the fact or not, I have written some senseless tickets in my many years on the job. 99.9% of the time the person wrote their own ticket for being lets say non-compliant. Could have been a factor here judging by the other items listed in the complaint. The Mayor is just being a typical politician, she fired the Officer because 200 people emailed her in support of the mother and none for the Officer. Now I can't remember ever hearing of an Officer going out and soliciting people to send emails to the Mayor in support of their actions. The big question here is, if the Mayor would have gotten 200 emails supporting the Officer's action would he still have his job and a commendation?

Trigger @ 11/27/2012 11:09 AM

What I have learned in 33 years in law enforcement is that we are quick to judge and execute our own before we know what really happened. Phil and PC you both are correct, we were not there and do not know the full facts.

S.S @ 11/27/2012 1:22 PM

I don't agree with what the officer did, but to fire the officer that is complete bullshit. The mayor is just doing it to make herself look good in the eyes of the public. Sad but true.

oldcop @ 11/27/2012 1:32 PM

Not sure were all these negative comments are coming from. If we had an issue with a minor repeatedly causing and issue the parent needs cited. We do it all the time with seatbelt laws we cite the parents or the adult for not making sure the child is obeying the law. Like some said we only know the short blip that the paper printed but it was obviously an ongoing thing.

[email protected] retired @ 11/27/2012 5:12 PM

Complaint of problems in the area? Talked to his supervisor before issuing the citation? 200 e-mails against 0 for? Does the city now take action based on the number of e-mails for or against? There sure are a lot of facts missing from this news clip. But, that sells papers. Termination for this act alone sure sounds like an over reaction to me, even if the officer was wrong. There are just too many missing facts to make a sound judgment on this.

Chief @ 11/28/2012 5:51 AM

There has to be past history with this particular officer. Officers write tickets all the time and most plead with very few found not guilty. The officers who read this can relate by remembering the last time they had to actually testify in either juvenile or adult court. If the officer wrote the citation and the courts found it worthless, wrong charge or whatever the prosecutor would simply dismiss it. This case did go public, but even so I would think any Chief would know that firing an officer even in this case would take elevation of discipline and recorded reprimands.

Ima Leprechaun @ 12/12/2012 9:01 PM

Oh come on is this really real? Next he will be ticketing dogs for peeing and pooing in their own yard. He does know women are allowed to go topless right, I mean someone did explain the laws to him at some point. Not all nudity is illegal. I am thinking this officer needs to be better medicated he's just a little over stressed. Frankly, Im surpirsed he didnt phaser the kid.

Dana @ 6/19/2013 9:07 AM

And the Germans that rounded up the jews were "just doing their job". If you can't use reasonable judgement in this situation hand in the badge.

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