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Monday, April 21, 2014

Elkhart police officer to receive 35-day suspension

An Elkhart police officer will receive a 35-day suspension.

Posted on Sepa. 10, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on Sepp. 10, 2013 at 4:54 p.m.

ELKHART — An Elkhart police officer will receive a 35-day suspension without pay for failing to comply with general orders during a domestic violence case.

Patrolman Cory Newland’s suspension will start sometime in October, said Police Chief Dale Pflibsen during a Board of Public Safety meeting Tuesday, Sept. 10.

An investigation from the police department’s internal affairs office found that Newland failed to follow procedures and lied to his supervisors.

According to documents filed with the board of public safety, Newland was dispatched May 10 in response to a domestic disturbance. He met with a woman who told him her husband hit her in front of her children.

Newland took the husband away from the scene but did not arrest him. He later talked with his supervisors, telling them the woman and her husband were pushing each other.

Several minutes after the interview was over Newland returned and admitted the victim did tell him she was hit and that “he made a poor judgment call by not following up on the victim’s statement,” according to the files.

According to a report from the Elkhart Police Department to the board of public safety, Newland violated two general orders by failing to follow standard procedures and by failing to be truthful to his supervisors.

In a document filed to the board of public safety, the police department argued that Newland’s failure to be truthful was not only a violation of technical orders, but a detriment to the state’s ability to prosecute the case.

An officer has the right to request a hearing before the board of public safety to respond to the department’s charges against him. As an agreement, Newland declined his right to a hearing before the board.

Newland was the second officer in a month to get reprimanded for failing to follow standard procedure in a domestic battery case.

Cpl. Brian Chomer was working the front desk of the Elkhart Police Department when a woman came in claiming she had been a victim of domestic battery. An investigation from the department’s internal affairs office found that Chomer “failed to appropriately investigate the situation and take the necessary precautions to ensure the victim’s safety.”

Chomer received a 15-day suspension without pay.

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