Man says ministry was harmed by police search - KCTV5

Man says ministry was harmed by police search

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A Douglas County Pastor is saying his ministry is crippled after a police search he says was unnecessary.

Mark Halford runs the Heart of America Teen Challenge, a Christian outreach program for young men with offices in Lawrence and Baldwin City.

He said that this week a Douglas County detective showed up asking employees for information.

“It's our policy of confidentiality that we don’t divulge information without a court order or release,” Halford said.

Halford said he insisted on a warrant and, later, several deputies appeared at both offices.

“A lieutenant with the Douglas County sheriff pointed a shotgun at me,” Halford said.

Cell phone video from Halford and his son shows police requiring everyone on the property to wait for hours, including outside in the cold.

“Very disrespectful,” said witness Teresa Walker. “Treated us like criminals, like we had someone locked up in here.”

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office told KCTV5 News in a statement that they did serve a warrant relating to a child neglect case, but would not provide additional details.

Halford said he provided police with the records they asked for. He said, “We gave it to them and said, ‘This is it.’”

Police also seized several computers, including an employee's personal computer.

Halford said he and his clients felt threatened. 

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office also told us that they treat every search warrant differently and said any use of force and the level of force depends on the situation.

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