Elkhart police officer receives 15-day suspension

An Elkhart police officer received a 15-day suspension.
Posted on July 23, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on July 23, 2013 at 2:13 p.m.

ELKHART — An Elkhart police officer will be suspended 15 days without pay after he failed to follow procedure in a domestic battery case.

In a meeting Tuesday, July 23, the Elkhart Board of Public Safety accepted the recommendation from Police Chief Dale Pflibsen and gave Cpl. Brian Chomer the suspension. According to letters submitted to the board of public safety by the police department, Chomer was working at the police station desk when a woman came in claiming she had been a victim of domestic battery caused by her ex-boyfriend.

The woman showed signs of the attack and told Chomer she feared for her life. An investigation from the police department’s internal affairs office found Chomer “failed to appropriately investigate the situation and take the necessary precautions to ensure the victim’s safety.”

Another police officer followed up on the investigation afterward and found that victim’s ex-boyfriend was still living in the victim’s residence. A report written later by the officer alleges the suspect committed criminal deviate conduct, threat of force, domestic battery with a prior violation and interfering with reporting a crime.

Chomer had requested a hearing with the board of public safety scheduled for July 17 to give his account of the incident. He withdrew his request a day before the hearing.

The board had the right to consider the police chief’s suggestion as disciplinary action, as well as other actions, such as dismissal, demotion or reprimand.

The board also heard an update on an allegation made against Patrolman Cory Newland, who was accused of failing to follow procedure by not making an arrest in a domestic violence case and later lying to his supervisors.

Newland filed a request for a hearing with the board of public safety. The hearing was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Aug. 27 in the city council chambers.

Pflibsen recommended a 35-day suspension without pay for Newland. Following the hearing, the board will consider the disciplinary action, if any, that should be applied to Newland.

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