Mt. Vernon Register-News

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February 25, 2014

Police officers disciplined

MT. VERNON — — Investigations into an incident involving a DuQuoin police officer uncovered inappropriate procedures within both the DuQuoin and Mt. Vernon police departments.

According to information from the cities of DuQuoin and Mt. Vernon, an incident happened in Mt. Vernon on Dec. 26, 2013, which uncovered officers extending "professional courtesy," which is not accepted in either city.

"An event occurred in Mt. Vernon on Dec. 26, 2013, where an individual who is an officer employed by the City of DuQuoin allegedly committed minor acts that could have resulted in an arrest and possible charges," information states. "Unfortunately, representatives of the Mt. Vernon Police Department inappropriately chose to not practice accepted procedures and released the individual."

City Manager Ron Neibert said the December incident was being investigated by DuQuoin with the assistance of Mt. Vernon.

"Our investigation in assisting them uncovered an incident involving our department," Neibert said.

According to the joint information, "an unrelated event occurred in DuQuoin on Feb. 8, 2014, where an individual who is a spouse of an officer employed by the City of Mt. Vernon allegedly committed minor acts that could have resulted in an arrest and possible charges. Unfortunately, representatives of the DuQuoin Department inappropriately chose to not practice accepted procedures and released the individual."

Neibert said the actions of the officers is "not appropriate and is not to happen again."

"All employees representing both departments who utilized poor judgement in these matters have been disciplined accordingly and all officers in these respective cities have been reminded that unwritten policies of 'professional courtesy' are not accepted practices of the cities of Mt. Vernon and DuQuoin," information states.

Neibert said if an officer is in any community and he violates the law, "he is to be treated just like the general public.

"The professional courtesy term is not tolerated," Neibert said. "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."

Neibert said he is not able to disclose the nature of the incidents.

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