Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

March 27, 2014

Former Navarro College police academy official indicted

From Staff Reports
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — A former training coordinator of the Navarro College Police Academy was arrested Tuesday in McKinney on charges of falsifying training records.

Last week, the Navarro County Grand Jury returned seven felony indictments against Damon Jackson, 41, who was with the college's Police Academy from November 2008 through November 2011. The indictment alleges seven counts of Tampering with a Governmental record.

A release from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement said the indictments resulted from a criminal investigation by its Enforcement Division into allegations that Jackson submitted falsified documents to the agency, claiming that Jackson and another licensee received law enforcement training when they actually had not attended the training.

At the time of the offenses alleged in the indictments, Jackson was the college's training coordinator responsible for the administration of all training at the Navarro College Police Academy.

The investigation was initiated after information was discovered during a 2013 investigation into the Freestone County Sheriff’s Office. That probe resulted in the arrest of Freestone County Sheriff Thomas Don Anderson and Capt. Travis Robertson on similar charges of tampering with training records.

Navarro County District Attorney R. Lowell Thompson said Jackson's indictment was not disclosed last week because Jackson had not yet been arrested. He was taken into custody Tuesday by McKinney Police and booked in the Collin County Jail. A jail spokesman said Jackson was released Wednesday on a $25,000 bond.

Thompson said the probe and resulting charges against Jackson did not involve the training records of any current members of the Navarro County law enforcement community.

Dr. Kenneth Martin of Navarro College said Thursday the college was made aware of the probe in February of 2013, and fully cooperated with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement in its investigation of Jackson.

“They asked for files, and we turned over everything they requested,” Martin said.

Martin said the investigation into Jackson's actions while at the college started after Jackson had left Navarro for another position. He said the college, and its police academy, have not received any kind of enforcement action as a result of the probe.

The college's police training program is currently headed up by Jason Westmoreland, who's been on the job for a little over two years. Martin said he's confident the program is being well run.

“We have a very reputable program with a great advisory board,” Martin said. “(Westmoreland) is doing a great job.”

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Bob Belcher may be reached by email at bbelcher@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com