Ripley police chief apologizes for April incident

RIPLEY – Police Chief Scott White apologized before a TV camera for an incident that took place concerning two off-duty officers on Saturday, April 24 in a parking lot in Ripley, in which several teenage girls said one of the officers offered them drugs and propositioned them.

One officer was suspended without pay and placed on probation in connection with the case. The second officer kept his job but has been disciplined. No charges have been filed.

Chief White apologized on camera in Ripley as part of a WREG-TV news program about the case. He declined to discuss the case with the Southern Sentinel newspaper.

The two officers were in a SUV with two other men when the incident took place, according to sworn statements from the girls.

Alyson Stroupe, then 17, was in a vehicle with one other teenage girl in a city parking lot near where the city pool used to be. Three other girls were in another vehicle in the same parking lot near the tennis courts. Stroupe told investigators in a sworn statement the men harassed the girls and made lewd comments to them.

Stroupe later called a friend for help. When she returned home and told her parents – Nathan and Debbie Stroupe – what happened, they were furious.

Their anger triggered an investigation by the District Attorney’s office. As a result, city narcotics officer Steven Goolsby was suspended without pay for a week earlier this month in connection with the incident. He later resigned. Patrolman Chris Hodges received a departmental reprimand in connection with the case.

Sources said the investigation’s findings did not warrant stronger action being taken against either officer.

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Hank Weisner/Southern Sentinel