CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The Chesterfield County Police Department says an officer has been arrested and fired after being accused of soliciting a minor for sex.
Simeon Isaiah Crispin Steers-Smith, 30, of Richmond, was charged by the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office on Friday with three felony counts of use of a communications system to facilitate certain offenses involving children.
He’s accused of posing as an underage person to lure a minor for sex.
“We are angry ... we are outraged by this," said Police Chief Col. Jeffrey Katz at a press conference Friday afternoon.
Steers-Smith has been with the department since May 2017.
The Hanover Sheriff’s Office and members of the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children/FBI Child Exploitation Task Forces arrested Steers-Smith. The task force includes officers with Chesterfield, Richmond, Henrico and Hopewell police departments, the FBI and Homeland Security.
He’s being held without bond in the Chesterfield County Jail.
The nonprofit group Child Savers is applauding the work of police officers who arrested one of their own. The group is also calling on parents to do their part to keep kids safe.
“Anytime an adult preys upon them for their own gratification is just a horrible thing,” John Richardson-Lauve of Child Savers said.
His group helps children rebound after experiencing trauma.
"Anyone who has a position of power, whether it’s a teacher, whether it’s a community member of authority, whether it’s a police officer, their job is to keep people safe, not inflict harm,” he said.
This is the second Chesterfield police officer to come under the microscope this week, casting a dark shadow over the department. Another officer is on leave pending termination for alleged involvement as a pledge leader for a white nationalist group. He was working as a school resource officer.
"There is no place for such conduct by anyone in our agency, in our profession or quite frankly in our community,” Katz said.
Katz said neither officer reflects the good work his officers do or the reason most of them chose to protect and serve.
Meanwhile, advocates for children are also calling on parents to step up to prevent these crimes.
“The computer, the phone, the game system, whatever kids are using to access online is not the property of a child. It is the property of an adult,” Richardson-Lauve said. “We have to establish boundaries with our kids that we as parents have an opportunity and have the right to investigate what our children are doing online and work to keep them safe.”
The officer is being held at the Chesterfield County Jail with no bond.
Anyone with information about Steers-Smith is asked to call the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office at 804-365-6140 or the Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.
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