By Philip Jankowski
Killeen Daily Herald
A Killeen police officer associated with the department's youth outreach program was arrested Thursday and charged with sexual assault of a teenager.
Officer Kirt Yarbrough Sr. was released after posting $100,000 bond. Police officials placed the 16-year veteran on administrative leave Jan. 5, according to a news release.
Yarbrough is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old who was a member of the Killeen Police Explorer Program, which is designed to acquaint young people with law enforcement. The incident was reported to police Jan. 4.
The youth outreach program was suspended pending an administrative review, states the release.
On the program's MySpace.com page, Yarbrough is listed as one of the contacts at the Killeen Police Department. Started in the 1980s, the Explorer program's activities include one-on-one contact with police officers through projects, meetings, social functions and ride-alongs with officers, the Web page states.
While the youth program is sanctioned by the Boy Scouts of America, Police Chief Dennis Baldwin is its final authority.
"This allegation, as dreadful as it is, should not be considered a reflection of the true commitment and dedication the men and women of KPD have toward this community," stated Baldwin in the release.
Police department policy prohibits fraternization between youths in the program and adult teachers, the release states.
KPD spokeswoman Carroll Smith declined to answer questions about the allegations against Yarbrough or the Explorers program.
"We don't feel we need to," she said. "It is an ongoing investigation, and we are unable to legally talk about it any further."
Yarbrough could face additional criminal charges and is under an internal police investigation for numerous alleged violations of department policy, states the release.
Yarbrough received an officer of the year award in 2008 during a scholarship event presented by the local League of United Latin American Citizens.
Contact Philip Jankowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.