Harrington police officer Jonathan Kendall, 37, who was the department's Officer of the Year in 2002, was arrested by state police on March 10 and charged with 27 counts of dealing in child pornography, state department of justice spokesman Jason Miller said.


UPDATED 2:18 PM


Harrington police officer Jonathan Kendall, 37, who was the department's Officer of the Year in 2002, was arrested by state police on March 10 and charged with 27 counts of dealing in child pornography, state department of justice spokesman Jason Miller said.

An affidavit by State Police Det. Robert Irwin says Kendall “admitted that there was child pornography on his computer at one time,” but claimed it was put there by his nephew, a minor who was staying at Kendall’s home in 2010.

Irwin said Kendall admitted to destroying evidence of the crime by destroying the computer itself, allegedly smashing its hard drive with a hammer.

Irwin said a further search of Kendall’s home uncovered a laptop with “approximately 200 images” of child pornography, all password-protected, allegedly by Kendall himself.

“I reviewed the images…and would identify at least 27 images that depicted young boys between the ages of 10 and 15…where the depiction showed total nudity,” Irwin said.

There were also records of an online transaction with “Azov Films” where “Jonathan Kendall ordered and had shipped to (his home) several videos of suspected child pornography,” Irwin said. He confirmed that the credit card used in the purchase was listed as belonging to Jonathan Kendall.

Miller said police conducted new searches of Kendall’s home and car after his arrest and found “additional evidence” of child pornography.

Kendall was on paid leave from the police department since the first search.

“It is certainly a sad day when one of our own has been arrested, and it is a disappointment,” Harrington Police Chief Norman Barlow said. “We want to assure the citizens of Harrington that we will diligently work hard to move our department past this incident and provide the police service they expect.”

Kendall has been charged with 27 counts of dealing in child pornography and one count each of hindering prosecution and official misconduct. He was committed to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in lieu of $272,000 secured bond.

Kendall’s arrest is part of an ongoing offensive by the child predator task force that also led to the indictment of Shane Kiser, a Beebe Hospital nurse, on the same day.

“We will never let up from our efforts to protect our kids and we will never back down from the challenge of combating child predators,” Attorney General Beau Biden said.