Burton Firefighter Arrested in Genesee County GHOST Initiative
A Burton firefighter and former law enforcement officer has been arrested for engaging in sexually abusive activity toward children.
Matthew Hyde was one of 17 people arrested by the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team known as GHOST. Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson detailed the arrests at a press conference held today at the Genesee County Jail. That video is posted below.
GHOST was formed as a task force to thwart human trafficking in and around Genesee County.
Hyde is facing several charges including child sexually abusive activity and accosting a child for immoral purposes. The 40-year-old was the union president for the Burton firefighters before his arrest. According to WJRT, he has previously worked as a law enforcement officer for Clayton Township, Mt. Morris City, Genesee Township and the Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission.
According to Sheriff Swanson, Hyde engaged in conversation with two people in GHOST who posed as 14-year-old girls. He had a 15 minute phone call with one of the decoys. Two loaded firearms, a police ID, and a police badge were found in his truck. Hyde retired from law enforcement in 2015.
Burton Mayor Duane Haskins joined Swanson at the press conference today, saying
"The awareness has to come out with the individuals who are living among us and this is proof, Haskins said referring to Hyde's photo. "Coming from the Sheriff's department and pinning the badge on your chest, right above your heart is a thing that most of hold true as a thing of honor and integrity."
Haskins went on to urge Burton residents not to have a negative opinion of the Burton fire department based on the actions of one person.
He then noted that Hyde was released from the fire department immediately.