Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Second verse, same as the first!

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but you're not going to believe what an IMPD officer just got arrested for! Was it:
A. Harvesting quail eggs without a license.
B. Whistling the Michigan State fight song.
C. Operating a motor vehicle While Intoxicated.
If you guessed "C", you're absolutely right!

That's right, yet another cop from the I Must Patrol Drunk agency has been arrested for OWI. On the upside, at least this one was off-duty, out of uniform, not driving a department car, and nobody was killed.

On the downside, he hit a parked vehicle, drove off, was pursued by witnesses (after badging them, no less!) and was finally arrested miles down the road. Who did he think he was? A Marion County Deputy Prosecutor?

I'll further note that the officer in question is a 35-year veteran of the IMPD and a Lieutenant, which raises a couple of questions:
  1. No wonder the rank-and-file officers get busted for driving boozed-up. Look at their leadership! When the apples on the top of the barrel are bad, how far down do you have to dig to find a good one? And why would you bother?

  2. What does this say about departmental culture? Suppose you're some regular cop on the street, trying to do the right thing, and you know one of your shift buddies has a booze problem? Who are you going to tell, your boss with the booze problem?

  3. Thirty-five years on the job. How many OWI arrests has this officer made in that time, I would like to know? And what kind of special blend of hubris and stupidity makes one think that one is so immune from the consequences that affect us Little People that one could lightly gamble a 35-year career (to say nothing of the lives of your fellow motorists) for the sake of a bit of recreational driving on the sauce?
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry: You came into office with a vow to dry out the IMPD. With the Bisard case probably botched beyond recall, here is your chance. Make such an example of IMPD Lt. Michael Rinehart that every AA meeting in the Indianapolis metro area for the next six months is packed with blue uniforms. Send this guy to the wall for the good of the department and the good name of your office.

32 comments:

Robert Langham said...

The system frequently proclaims it's "making an example" when dealing with the peasants. They never "make an example" of one of their own.

Cut the department in half. They really don't do anything.

Joseph said...

Good on ya Tam, but were I in your shoes, I'd take an extra walk around the Z3 before departure to make sure everything is A-OK. It can't be too hard to find the blonde with a ponytail, ball cap, t-shirt and jeans driving around Indy in a Z3 with the top down.

As it is, this has become a running gag of the worst kind. I don't know how the local news readers keep a straight face while reporting yet another IMPD OWI. I've much respect for Law enforcement and count several as close friends (one retired from Marion County) and it pains me greatly to see this.

perlhaqr said...

Make such an example of IMPD Lt. Michael Rinehart that every AA meeting in the Indianapolis metro area for the next six months is packed with blue uniforms. Send this guy to the wall for the good of the department and the good name of your office.

Yeah, good fucking luck with that.

Much like the ponderance "is it still paranoia when they really are out to get you?"... is it still cynicism when it's actually borne out?

Nothing's going to happen to this asshole. Even if the brass decides they want to fire him, the Union will almost assuredly stand in the way. And I wouldn't count on the first part, either.

Tam said...

perlhaqr,

"Nothing's going to happen to this asshole."

I wouldn't be so certain. Curry's been seriously pursuing the Bisard case, but that has turned out to be a Quixotic effort since it was (probably irretrievably) tainted during the term of his predecessor, the hopelessly corrupt Carl Brizzi.

If he wants reelection, he's going to need to get a high-profile prosecution on drunken cop, and this target's as ripe as any.

Further, Marion County has already lost a police chief and a Public Safety Director over the Bisard scandal. With the amount of heat that's been coming down on the department of late, you know there's a faction looking for someone to throw under the bus, if only so they can go back to status quo ante.

Jim said...

>>pursued by witnesses (after + badging+ them, no less!)<<

That's the most revealing fact I see. "I am an especially authorized person."

Years ago U.S. Senator Roger Jepson, (R-IA) was busted for using the HOV lanes around Washington while driving alone. He claimed senatorial immunity.

LCB said...

Years ago I worked at a papermill in Hamilton, OH. The railroad was redoing the crossing next to our building in a major way: huge (ten foot deep) ditch where the tracks used tah been.

A judge ignored many Road Closed signs and drove straight in to the ditch. Happening before the intranets and cell phones, none of us could post the info or grab pictures. Of course...nothing happened to the very drunk judge.

Anonymous said...

While IMPD may stand out locally, I suspect there are enough other agencies nationwide with the same problem, or related problems of officer dysfunctionality, that IMPD, despite being near the top of the graph, is not at all unique.

So, tell me again why we should respect these "sooper spcecial" MFs?

To Matt G: I stand by my "guilt by association" claim. Feel free to dispute it.

Sport Pilot said...

Everytime you post one of these example's of misconduct I shake my head and wonder what's going on there. Here if your arrested for a DUI or Public Intox your gone. Drug's, theft or felony your gone. Domestic Assault is the confusing one because a judge can squash a first one under the right circumstances. That in and of itself gall's me but other non-LE get the same opputunity as well. It all make's me glad to so much closer to retirement.

Joseph said...

Further, Marion County has already lost a police chief and a Public Safety Director over the Bisard scandal.

Tam,

Please refrain from calling the departure of these two slugs a loss. I know you don't miss them or think it's bad they left, but your choice of wording should be clear that the City is far better off without these two than with them.

docjim505 said...

I'm not sure where the line is between "we've got a serious problem" and "jebus, this is a friggin' joke", but it seems that the IMPD has charged across it with a couple of armored divisions and taken up strong positions on the other side.

Anonymous said...

I was in court in Indianapolis this morning and I happened upon the IFD talking a man down off a ledge of an office building. It was Mayor Ballard. He seemed slightly upset.

Shootin' Buddy

perlhaqr said...

I wouldn't be so certain. Curry's been seriously pursuing the Bisard case, but that has turned out to be a Quixotic effort since it was (probably irretrievably) tainted during the term of his predecessor, the hopelessly corrupt Carl Brizzi.

Well, I'll be happy to be proven wrong, but... I'll believe it when I see it. *shrug*

Sorry, just wandering around, looking at the world through shit-colored glasses as usual.

Tam said...

perlhaqr,

In this case, you can let your cynicism work for, rather than against you.

See, without a drunk cop's head hanging on his office wall, Curry should be a pushover if he stands for reelection. And all politicos want to be reelected, right?

DirtCrashr said...

What's with all the booze in the Midwest? I guess out here it would be (and usually is) cocaine - or in Santa Cruz mushrooms...local produce.

Anonymous said...

[Meanwhile, at IMPD Morning Roll Call]

Sgt. Smith: "Johnson, check David sector. Have overnights about sneak and peaks on 30th Street, maybe that Burglary ring that the detectives are after.

Wilson, you're on traffic detail downtown, stick close to the construction on Market Street.

Ok, everyone have his assignment? Alright, circle up the chairs and let's talk about how we are powerless in the face of alcohol. Kim, what's the third step?"

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

"I am an especially authorized person."

Could be worse, no one got hurt. Here in Minnesota the Minneapolis Swat team XO just cold cocked a guy in a restaurant for talking too loud on a cell phone. The guy hit his head on the concrete floor. Two brain surgeries and he is still in critical condition.

"According to Anoka County Prosecutor Blair Buccione, alcohol was involved in the alleged assault. Buccione said that the offense was "remarkably violent" and that Clifford fled the scene immediately after the alleged assault at Tanner's Station in Andover."

"According to the criminal complaint, a surveillance video shows that Vander Lee was sitting on the patio at Tanner's Station with his wife and brother on Saturday evening when Clifford, who was sitting at the next table, confronted him. Vander Lee was on his cellphone when Clifford leaned over and began talking in his ear, said Anoka County Sheriff's Commander Paul Sommer. Witnesses described it as a "verbal confrontation," according to the criminal complaint."

"Then Clifford struck Vander Lee in the mouth with his right fist, Sommer said the video showed. Vander Lee fell backward, his head hitting the pavement."

Kristopher said...

"Ok, everyone have his assignment? Alright, circle up the chairs and let's talk about how we are powerless in the face of alcohol. Kim, what's the third step?"

Kim: Immediate surrender?

Ken O said...

Tam, here in Texas, they force the offenders to go to meetings X number of times per Y to get their papers signed. Most screw off playing on their phones, few listen and fewer still "get it".

Skip said...

Lesee, we got one deputy busted for dope and another one showed up for work drunk. In the last month.

Tam said...

Hey, Anon 1:34!

Why don't you start your own blog to copypasta multiple-paragraph blocks of tangentially-related copyrighted shit into? They're free, you know.

Maybe you could do one that grouses about the problems of your hometown PD?

PT said...

B. Whistling the Michigan State fight song.

"go right through for MSU, watch the point keep growing..."

Oh sorry officer, I didn't realize that was a misdemeanor in Indiana. I'll keep to my side of the border.

Anonymous said...

Regarding departmental culture; I have been stunned to find out that schools, for example, have their own culture, and that it can endure for generations even after all the people involved have been replaced. So no; this isn't going to change unless they were to fire them all en masse, and start over from the ground up. -- Lyle

Kristopher said...

Ken O.:

Nothing is as silly as being forced to by a judge to attend an AA meeting.

The AA members are very likely to just give him a bottle and a chair in a different room, and go on with their meeting.

DirtCrashr said...

If they were on 'shrooms they could patrol in the dark without flashlights giving away their position! Localivore!

Mike Doyle said...

I'm probably biased, being a former Booking Officer in a town rather a few hundred miles away from Indy, but I'm left with a question. How do we fix this goatrope?

The "I Must Patrol Drunk" problem didn't come outta the clear blue sky. WHY did Indianapolis PD coppers decide it was acceptable to start getting shit-faced before going out in Departmental units and/or on Departmental time whilst unfit for duty? so, since we seem to be stuck with them, how do we put some pride in 'em, so they DON'T do that Patrol Around Drunk thing from the classic Irish copper stereotype?

I don't know. The first thing that comes to mind is crashing the Police Academy with instructors who are ruthlessly dedicated to Peel's Principles, but that won't be enough - not when the poly-tickians (old joke) are going to corrupt them even faster than the Iron Law of Bureaucracy will...

Justthisguy said...

If I were pulled over by a cop, I wouldn't feel so bad about it if I could assume that he was less drunk than I was.

Matt G said...

So prosecute him for DUI, and Hit & Run, and whatever passes for Official Oppression or Misuse Of Authority there, and fire him, and take away his pension. I'm good with all those things.

And I agree that the top-down drunken cop theory probably has some weight, in IMPD.

What shall we do? I submit that the day may well arrive when police in some departments are not permitted to drink, period. I know of at least one department where tobacco use is prohibited, and I've friend about to enter an agency in which, during the 4-6 month training period, recruits are not permitted to use caffeine. (Ponder THAT.) So there's some precedent.

Please remember that it's not that more cops drive drunk; it's that it's more newsworthy when they do.

LauraB said...

So...the LT has a drinking problem and we're all supposed to think that he can maintain order and influence others to Integrity and Honor?

If he has a brain in his head, he'll try for an early retirement and walk away. Sadly, he'll probably listen to the union and fight it. "Only once...tough times in the dept..."

As for the "caffeine free" dept - yeah, great TX DPS experience there. Even better when you're on the green dot diet. Gah...

Look, if you are going to remove from a citizen their freedom for whatever crime - you, yourself, may NOT ever commit that same crime! Period. Thus, no drinky when driving for us. Sad, but true. Beccause it IS about honor and it IS about integrity and it IS about being able to say that you lead by example. Damn it.

GrampsOfHouseOfShu said...

http://www.theindychannel.com/news/31207104/detail.html

Latest update, he was already suspended for drunk on the job. Go figure...

Anonymous said...

Fire the asshole because if they don't the next time he will kill someone. He thinks he is above the law and will get nothing but a slap on the wrist. I feel sorry for his family, how embarrassing for them. In his mugshot he looks like a old hillbilly.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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