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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Elkhart County Sheriff's patrolman arrested for invasion of privacy

A deputy from the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department was arrested for invasion of privacy.

Posted on April 24, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on April 24, 2013 at 3:09 p.m.

ELKHART — A deputy from the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department who was arrested Tuesday, April 23, is on paid administrative leave until the investigation related to his arrest is completed.

The Indiana State Police arrested Ptl. William J. Long Jr., 37, at about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at a residence in the 56600 block of C.R. 3. He could be charged with invasion of privacy.

Sgt. Trent Smith, public information officer with the Indiana State Police, said Long arrived at the residence to pick up some items from inside because of a “domestic situation.” No one was home at the time, Smith said.

Long called the Sheriff's Department to ask for a “standby,” a term that means having another officer from a law enforcement agency stand near the residence to avoid any altercations or violent situations. However, the Sheriff's Department's policy prohibits the use of standby in many situations, which is what a fellow officer told Long. (Editor's note: The department clarified Thursday, April 25, that standbys aren't always prohibited, but were in this instance. The original version of this story said the department prohibits the use of standbys.)

Long then went to the residence and kicked in the door to retrieve the items he wanted, according to Smith. Shortly after, he called the sheriff's department again to say what he had done. He stayed at the scene until police arrived.

“He was very cooperative the whole time,” Smith said.

A supervisor at the sheriff's department called the ISP to investigate the case, which resulted in Long's arrest. Smith said the sheriff's department decided to ask the ISP to handle the case to avoid bias.

Smith said Long had been issued a court order, which he violated at least in part by entering the residence.

Long, a seven-year veteran of the sheriff's department, was booked in the Elkhart County Jail. He was released Tuesday night on a $1,500 bond. Long has not been formally charged, however, the charge of invasion of privacy is a Class A misdemeanor. The maximum sentence for an A misdemeanor is a year in prison.

Sheriff Brad Rogers has instructed his department to maintain contact with the state police during the investigation, according to a press release.

Capt. Jim Bradberry, public information officer with the Sheriff's Department, said Long is on administrative leave until the investigation on Long's case is completed.

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