WARSAW — Two Warsaw Police Department officers each face 10-day suspensions without pay for a list of violations in connections to the sharing of body cam video involving Police Chief Scott Whitaker’s investigation of an apparent reckless driving incident on Jan. 25.
The city Board of Works and Safety accepted recommendations on Friday, March 8, from the police department to discipline officers Jason Dobbins and Ross Minear.
The board voted 2-0, with Mayor Joe Thallmer, who sits on the board, recusing himself.
Deputy Chief Bryan Sherwin outlined the circumstances and allegations against Minear and Dobbins during a 19-minute board meeting.
Each officer is accused of violating the following rules and procedures: Neglect of duty, violating department rules, conduct unbecoming a police officer, breach of discipline and improper release of a recording without the police chief’s permission.
The officers have five days to accept the punishment or ask for a hearing before the board of works. They could also appeal that ruling to a circuit court, if they choose.
In the report issued by Sherwin, he claimed Minear sought to have a copy of the department body cam footage from the Jan. 25 incident in order to “blackmail the chief in case he got in trouble again.” Sherwin added that Minear said Dobbins was “politically motivated” and “wanted a change in the administration.”
Neither officer was directly involved in the Jan. 25 incident off of CR 200S when Whitaker had closely trailed motorist who was driving erratically and suspected was impaired driver.
Whitaker fell under scrutiny after he allegedly tackled the apparent driver, who is 74. Whitaker contends the man’s legs gave out.
After learning of the incident, Thallemer asked Indiana State Police to review the incident. ISP then issued a recap saying the circumstances did not merit criminal charges.