ELKHART — An Elkhart police officer is facing disciplinary action after he allegedly failed to follow standard procedure when an Elkhart resident went to the police station asking for help.
In an Elkhart Board of Public Safety meeting Tuesday, June 11, police chief Dale Pflibsen presented letters accusing Cpl. Brian Chomer of neglect of duty and violation of rules.
According to letters filed at the meeting, Chomer was working at the front desk of the police department May 4 when a woman came in saying she had been a victim of domestic violence caused by her ex-boyfriend. The woman showed physical signs of the incident and said she feared for her safety.
Following an internal investigation, the police department found that “Chomer failed to appropriately investigate the situation and take the necessary precautions to ensure the victim’s safety,” said a letter filed to the board of public safety.
Another officer followed up on the case and found that the ex-boyfriend was still living in the house with the victim. The ex-boyfriend’s report alleges criminal deviate conduct, threat of force, domestic battery with a prior violation and interfering with reporting a crime.
The letter alleging Chomer’s violation of the rules cites General Order 55.2.1, which says that the police department’s patrol division at the front desk of the station should be available to offer assistance to victims 24 hours a day. If a victim feels in danger, officers must:
Provide information and assistance.
Provide protection and transportation.
Provide information regarding the available services for them through the Elkhart County victims assistance office.
Fill out a domestic violence referral form and send a copy to the prosecutor’s office.
Chomer has indicated he wishes to have a hearing in his case to respond to the chief’s charges. A hearing with the board of public safety has been scheduled July 9.
As part of the process, Chomer can request to be represented by counsel, call his own witnesses and cross-examine any other witnesses, and present documentary evidence.
Pflibsen’s recommendation to the board is to give Chomer a 15-day suspension without pay. However, the board may determine other disciplinary actions, if any, such as demotion, dismissal, reprimand or suspension.