MISSION, Kan. -- An off-duty Kansas police officer who was sentenced to probation for drunkenly threatening to shoot a bar server was initially allowed to keep his service weapon after a responding officer urged witnesses not to press charges, according to court records.
The Kansas City Star obtained the records after a state agency revoked former Kansas City police officer Robert Ward's law enforcement license last month.
Ward, 41, was sentenced to one year of probation for assault and possession of a firearm while under the influence after other officers raised concerns about his conduct at The Peanut bar in Mission in August 2018. Court records say Ward told the server: "I have my gun on me. I'll shoot you."
According to court records, Ward had been drinking and arguing with a woman at the bar.
Bar employees called police because they worried that he would start shooting. Ward told bar employees that he was a police officer, which meant he could "do whatever he wanted."
Chief Ben Hadley said the officer who tried to cut Ward a break no longer works for the Mission Police Department, but he declined to say if that officer quit or was fired, calling it a personnel matter.
Three law enforcement officers responded to the scene. Court records show that one of them repeatedly told bar managers and the other officers that he "did not want to ruin the career of a police officer over a drunken mistake."
According to charging documents, that officer encouraged the managers not to press charges and asked the woman if Ward could just go home. That night, Ward was simply given a trespass warning for all The Peanut locations.
According to Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe, the other responding officers in Mission and Fairway were uncomfortable and reported the other officer's conduct to their superiors, which he said is a "testament to how well law enforcement agencies in our county are run."
The Mission chief agreed.
"My expectation is that it doesn't matter if you're a police officer or not. All calls will be treated the same," Hadley said.
Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com