Police officers at every department — no, the chief isn’t immune — are subject to verbal reprimands and other discipline.
In addition to Vermilion police Chief Chris Hartung receiving a written reprimand for authoring a spoof departmental newsletter poking fun at other employees, a few other Vermilion officers have been reprimanded for incidents this year.
Here’s a look at what a public records request from the Register turned up:
• On Feb. 14, Cpl. Scott Holmes received a verbal reprimand after he left marijuana unsecured, which was later discovered by another police employee. Holmes conducted a demonstration for a Boy Scout troop at the office, and he left marijuana out in the open. It had been issued to him for training purposes because he’s the department’s police dog handler.
He could have received a written reprimand, given the seriousness of the violation, but he took responsibility for his error and it appeared to be an honest mistake, according to police documents. He received a verbal warning.
• On June 20, Cpl. Daniel Shupe left a handgun on top of his vehicle as he left a firing range he had visited for weapons training.
A civilian found the gun lying in the road, with one live round in the chamber. It was immediately returned to another officer who had also been at the training session.
Shupe was suspended for three days without pay for his negligence. Two days of the suspension were held in abeyance, as long as he has no other disciplinary issues over the next year.
• On July 20, Officer Dale Reising issued a parking citation, even after he’d been ordered not to issue one in an area that was not clearly marked as a no parking zone. Hartung ordered that he be counseled and retrained on the matter.