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Former Miller, Mo. Police Chief sentenced for stealing city property, but avoids jail time

Published: May. 14, 2021 at 6:01 PM CDT|Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 7:27 PM CDT
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MILLER, Mo. (KY3) - A former police chief for the city of Miller, Missouri won’t serve any jail time after being convicted of stealing city property.

Joshua Bruce had been sentenced for stealing city property. However, seven other charges tied to the case have been dismissed.

Investigators say, two years ago, Joshua Bruce faked payroll documents showing his brother had worked for the city. That’s when he was accused of stealing city-owned equipment.

Some local residents say they don’t think the sentence was appropriate for the hurt he caused in the community.

“To hear about what he had done and that he had stole from my town my hometown, I was totally shocked.” Miller resident Cassie Burks said. “I thought he was a really nice man.”

Burks said she couldn’t believe the news in 2019 when she found out what Joshua Bruce was accused of stealing city property. Now she doesn’t think it’s fair that he won’t spend any time in jail for the theft.

”People can steal gas from the local gas station and serve time in jail, and he gets to steal money guns and all the other stuff he did and he gets a slap on the wrist. It’s not right,” Burks said.

Burks said she thinks this situation has also painted a bad picture of law enforcement.

”Especially people they’re bringing in that aren’t from here, they’re having hard time doing their job because nobody respects them,” Burks said.

The city lost around $26,000. A statement on the city’s Facebook page says Bruce will be paying $15,000 of that back.

Burks said she thinks the money needs to be paid back in full.

”Because that’s out of my pocket too, but you know, some jail time seriously and more than what he did spend in there, if any at all,” Burks said.

Miller’s Jessica Mulls said she also doesn’t think the sentence was appropriate.

”The distrust that the people in this town know have for police officers and the state of our city budget, our city finances, it was terrible and it was all at his hands,” Jessica Mulls said.

A request for an on camera interview with Miller, Missouri city officials was declined.

The case against Bruce’s brother Randal was dismissed.

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