City Home > News

Statement from City Manager Marty Colburn regarding internal allegations about Traverse City Police Chief Jeff O'Brien

by Katelyn Zeits
Friday, November 10, 2017


Subject: Statement from City Manager Marty Colburn regarding internal allegations about Traverse City Police Chief  Jeff O’Brien

Contact: Marty Colburn, City Manager – (231) 922-4440 (

Issued: November 10, 2017

The City of Traverse City has conducted an internal investigation regarding allegations that Police Chief Jeff O’Brien engaged in conduct that is inconsistent with the City of Traverse City’s policy regarding harassment, discrimination and workplace violence.  

It is paramount to the success of our Police Department that it provides the highest level of professionalism in the delivery of law enforcement services to this community.   If allegations contrary to a professional culture within our organization, including the Police Department are made, the City of Traverse City has an obligation – and responsibility – to employees and the public to investigate.  

The City of Traverse City’s Human Resources Department has conducted a thorough, objective and independent investigation and presented the findings to me.  

Based on the allegation and finding. I have taken action to verbally reprimand Chief O’Brien as well as provide guidance to him.

While disciplinary action has been taken, I have full faith and confidence in the ability and commitment of Police Chief Jeff O’Brien to lead and cultivate professionalism, accountability and integrity within the Traverse City Police Department.   Chief O’Brien has led change within our Police Department, including change that this community and therefore I - have requested.  This includes the implementation of a contemporary model of community policing which I directed him to carry out toward nearly two years ago.   Chief O’Brien has demonstrated his support and commitment to this direction given to him.   I also have full faith that Chief O’Brien will continue to hold the officers and command staff of the Police Department to the highest professional standard.   Police Chief O’Brien and I also look forward to continuous development in the areas of communication and leadership in himself and his command staff.   After the conclusion of this investigation, Chief O’Brien continues to have my full support.   

I intend for this to be my sole statement on this matter and consider it closed.