EastpointeJuly 19, 2012
Two Eastpointe police officers under investigation
By Sara Kandel
C & G Staff Writer
Two police officers are on administrative leave while under investigation for improper actions.
The investigation into the two narcotics officers, who have not been named, stemmed from a recent phone call alerting department officials into possible drug usage among the two-man narcotics team.
“We received a phone call from a third party questioning the off-duty actions of the officers,” said City Manager Steve Duchane. “When we looked into that, we found there were at least some reasons to go further and make it a formal investigation because things didn’t match up the way they should.”
Both men were sent for drug tests, but the results of the tests have not been released.
Duchane added that at this point it is still unclear what, if any, criminal or internal charges will come out of the investigation, but there are still things they are looking to sort out and understand.
“So far we have an accounting of the money and the reported cash count matches what was journalized,” Duchane said. “However, in talking to one of the officers, we discovered (items) missing from confiscated inventory. They offered a story, but their story seems odd. We are still looking into that.”
After their cellphones were confiscated, more information surfaced that caused investigators to question the officers’ conduct in dealing with informants.
“They were inappropriately, in one case, dealing with an informant, which when I say that, I mean they seemed to have a particularly close working relationship and as (investigators) dug into it a little deeper some things were completely off the reservation as far as actions go.”
Although nothing had been officially confirmed yet, information found in the officers’ cellphones indicated possible illegal transactions with informants, such as selling or trading items uncovered in busts and other money transactions.
“Their status is that they are under investigation for a number of internal and external issues,” Duchane said. “I don’t think there is any explanation for the things they have done, but we are digging away looking for answers. It’s going to take another week or two before the investigation is wrapped.”
The two men will continue to receive full pay and benefits until the conclusion of the investigation, if charges are presented against them at that time.
It’s an unfortunate incident, but Duchane said it’s not entirely uncommon in narcotics units.
“This is one of the things we see often in police drug units. You have to be careful with these types of things because these officers will get so enamored with these guys they are working with that they forget who they are working for,” Duchane said.
“They start bonding with the people they’re out there investigating and their informants. I have seen it happen many times.”
The Eastsider will continue to follow this story as it develops.
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