OSPD trying to rebuild image after two child porn arrests - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

OSPD trying to rebuild image after two child porn arrests

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

By Doug Walker – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The images are disturbing.  Former police officer Lee Leonard in handcuffs, being led into court Wednesday morning.  Back in June, the same scenario played out, with Officer Steve Futral being led in cuffs to his first court appearance on child porn charges.

The two arrests have left Ocean Springs Police Chief Lionel Cothern almost at a loss for words. 

"It's still a shock right now to all of us," Cothern said. "I don't know what happened on this, don't know what to say on this. It's a shock to all of his co-workers. It's embarrassing and it's a burden that the rest of the officers shouldn't have to carry on their backs, the shame of this." 

There is a lot of technology at the police department, but the chief said a system of checks and balances brought Leonard's activity to light, even while using his police issued laptop.  

"We have a security system, any website that gets into it and it kicks back telling our IT department that it has been into a website it shouldn't have been into, and that's what the tip-off was."  

With the arrests of two Ocean Springs police officers on child pornography charges in the past five months alone, the police chief knows his department must rebuild the trust of citizens.

"I just hope the public realizes that we're doing what we can to police the police themselves. No one is above the law and if they violate the law, they'll be punished." 

The chief said his department will continue to protect and serve the public, despite this disturbing setback.

"We're still going to do the job they expect and their taxes pay for." 

Leonard's bond has been set at $150,000. Steve Futral has not been able to make bond, and is still in jail, awaiting trial.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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