By RICK HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — Citing it’s a personnel issue, City Manager Ron Neibert has not disclosed the name of the police officer disciplined as a result of an incident involving a DuQuoin police officer who was reportedly extended a “professional courtesy.”
In a joint news release issued Tuesday by the cities of Mt. Vernon and DuQuoin, an investigation uncovered inappropriate procedures within the police departments of both cities. One officer from each department was disciplined, although the extent of the discipline has not been released.
“Employee discipline is a private matter and we’re not obligated to provide information on the incidents,” Neibert said Thursday. “What we’ve done was voluntary and the people responsible were found culpable for their actions. It was wrong and it is not going to happen again and if it does people will be disciplined.”
The incidents which led to the investigation of the officers occurred in December 2013, in Mt. Vernon and in February of this year in DuQuoin.
According to information from the MVPD, six officers responded to a residence in the 1400 block of South 14th Street on Dec. 27. A man from Opdyke called police after hearing gunshots and yells for help from the listed address. A vehicle reportedly took off westbound on Veterans Memorial Drive at a high rate of speed. The reporting person also told police he believed there is a bullet hole in the mobile home.
Officers made contact with Eric McRoy outside the mobile home and residents Josh James and Samantha McRoy were inside the residence. There
had been no gunshots, the report stated. McRoy had been beating on the door of the home and yelling, trying to get his estranged wife to answer the door. The hole in the residence was old damage and McRoy was “sent on his way,” the report stated.
It is not known how or if the Mt. Vernon Police Department had knowledge of McRoy being a DuQuoin police officer since there is no documentation to support or deny the claim.
The six officers responding to the residence, according to a MVPD report, were: Aaron Wiedemann, Rich Johnston, Andrew Meyers, Rick Stanley, Victor Koontz and Nick Gaines.
In February, the spouse of a Mt. Vernon officer, Erin Bevis Greenwood, was pulled over for a traffic violation in DuQuoin. According to online media reports, Greenwood was cited for improper lane usage at 3:44 a.m. on Feb. 8. City leaders in DuQuoin said the woman was released even though she committed minor acts that could have resulted in an arrest and charges.
According to police dispatch tapes, an officer from DuQuoin, identified as Officer Robinson, called the MVPD to confirm Greenwood was the wife of officer Corey Greenwood. The information was confirmed by the telecommunicator, who also stated Greenwood was on duty in Mt. Vernon at the time.
DuQuoin officials have declined to identify Robinson as the officer disciplined by the city.
DuQuoin Mayor Rex Duncan was not available for comment.
“The facts of what happened and how it happened are important to the investigation,” Neibert said. “The officers were wrong in how they handled the situation in both cities. It should not be happening in the future. Our officers have been counseled that there will be no special treatment.”
Neibert said earlier this week the “professional courtesy” term is not tolerated.
“The only professional courtesy we expect is that officers behave themselves and act appropriately. If they choose not to do so, they should be subject to the same policies placed on the general public,” he said.