OCPD Officer Charged With Domestic Violence Twice, Chief Gourley Comments

Sergeant Kristopher Gellenbeck faced previous domestic abuse charges before last week’s incident and arrest. News 9 talks with Oklahoma City Police Chief Wade Gourley about the incident.

Thursday, December 7th 2023, 10:45 am

By: News 9


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An Oklahoma City officer was arrested on domestic violence and child abuse complaints. Oklahoma City Police Chief Wade Gourley comments on the incident.

Related: Officer Arrested, Accused Of Child Abuse, Domestic Abuse 

“This particular officer was already on administrative leave for another unrelated investigation involving something administrative within the police department,” Gourley said. “And so once any officer is arrested, we immediately put that person on administrative leave with pay until charges are filed. Once charges are filed, then we have a process to go through following the contract where we put that person on leave without pay.”

Sergeant Kristopher Gellenbeck faced previous domestic abuse charges before last week’s incident and arrest. Those charges were dismissed or dropped down to a misdemeanor.

“In that original case, which was a case that we investigated, the police department, we presented charges. Charges were originally accepted for domestic violence, domestic abuse,” Gourley said. “But at some point, we learned that those charges had been reduced down through what's called an Alford plea, which, you know, basically as him saying, he's not pleading either guilty or innocent. But just that there's enough evidence there to, to at least make a case. And that Alford plea, what he actually pled to was disturbing the peace, which is a very low level misdemeanor. Basically, in Oklahoma City, you can get a citation for loud noise. That's basically the same thing. And so that's what the charge was that he pled to. So we didn't have anything at that point that we could terminate him for, even though we did an administrative investigation after that.”

With what we know now, it seems obvious that letting Gellenbeck go was the best decision. Gourley says he wants a review board to be implemented in cases like this, with an officer’s CLEET certification on the line.

“It's very frustrating to me as an agency head, it's frustrating to our police officers that are out there, doing a great job every day following the letter of the law and doing what they're supposed to do holding themselves to a higher standard,” Gourley said. “If you're a doctor, a lawyer, pharmacist, any professional organization and something like this happens, you go before a board you have your licensing looked at. We're really trying to get something like that through CLEET that provides more clear guidance for when these officers do something like this, that would give us the ability to revoke that certification. Because once you do that, then that officer can't work anymore as a police officer.”

Gourley says that people like Gellenbeck are not who they want representing Oklahoma City law enforcement.

“It's frustrating, because I know the community looks at that [...] All they see is that we have an officer that was arrested on some very serious charges. And you know, and they want us to be held accountable. We want to hold those folks accountable [...] It's very frustrating,” Gourley said. “And to be honest, I'm not surprised we're here again. I mean, domestic violence, we know tends to recur. It is something that is very complicated. Oklahoma has some of the worst domestic violence rates in the country. And I think it's embarrassing when you have an Oklahoma City police officer now charged twice with domestic violence.”


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