This post has been moved to my other blog, The Road to Black. To post a comment, visit the link.
Texas City is a largely industrial town southeast of Houston, best known for several severe industrial accidents. More recently, one of its police officers, John L. White, was charged with intoxication manslaughter in the death of a woman whose car he rear-ended while off duty. His blood alcohol level was 0.17, over twice the legal limit.
This is an isolated incident with an officer with no reported prior history. It does not necessarily reflect poorly on the Texas City Police Department as a whole. Right?
Here's what was reported yesterday:
"Texas City Police Capt. Brian Goetschius said White suffered a 'few bumps and bruises' and will remain on duty during the investigation." (my emphasis)
In most police departments, standard procedure places officers involved in any type of critical incident on administrative leave. There are myriad reasons for this, not the least of which is that to maintain public trust, it is imperative not to have on-duty officers who are suspected of criminal misdoing.
The Texas City Police Department's website lists one of its goals as "maintain(ing) high standards to ensure quality customer services is provided". Do their high standards include looking the other way when officers are suspected of DUI resulting in death?
I called the police department to make sure this was reported correctly. I was directed to the voice mail of a captain and am still waiting for a response. I will update here if and when I receive one.