St. Pete officer resigns amid allegations he stole from suspects
A St. Petersburg Police officer was taking money from suspects he arrested, according to the police department's internal affairs report released Thursday. William Brownridge, 29, resigned in April before the investigation was completed. He would have been terminated had he not resigned, according to the internal affairs report. Brownridge became an officer in 2008. On December 14, Brownridge responded to a traffic stop to assist another officer. In his patrol car there was an applicant who was riding along. During the traffic stop, Brownridge searched the suspect who was arrested. The person who was riding along observed Brownridge remove cash from the suspect's pocket and wallet, according to the report.Brownridge put the money in his pocket. After he left the scene, he placed the money in his wallet, according to an investigation report. The person riding along with Brownridge asked about the cash. Brownridge said, "Better in my pocket than in the drug dealer's," according to the report. The following day, Brownridge and a person who was riding along responded as backup to a hit-and-run crash. Brownridge searched a suspect who was arrested. When Brownridge returned to his patrol car, he again made a comment similar to "better in my pocket than in the drug dealer's," according to the report. The person riding along saw Brownridge put cash in his wallet, according to the report. In March, Brownridge was interviewed during the internal affairs investigation. He denied taking money when he assisted in the traffic stop but acknowledged taking money in the hit-and-run case, but said he had forgotten that he had taken it, according to the report.