SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- After a 10 hour hearing in July regarding a South Bend Police Officer's derogatory comments towards a waitress, the Board of Public Safety voted in a split decision to terminate the officer's employment.
Detective Sgt. Dave Beaty's termination is effective immediately after spending some 22 years on the force. Over that time, Chief Ron Teachman says he has encountered a number of complaints about Beaty's performance.
In documents submitted to the Board of Public Safety, Teachman documents several incidents over the course of Beaty's tenure with the South Bend Police Department.
According to the documents, on Nov. 1, 2014, Beaty left his patrol car unlocked while he went inside a bar where he was employed. A laptop was stolen from the car in the process. Officers are not allowed to work directly or indirectly inside a building or enclosed area where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed on the premises and He was responsible for properly securing his assigned vehicle and equipment before leaving them unattended.
On Dec. 2, 2014, the report says Beaty initially falsely reported how damage to his patrol car happened, blaming the damage on an unknown person. His story changed, saying he collided with a "yellow post" on Nov. 26, 2014.
The next submission in the report was in reference to the derogatory comments made towards a waitress. The report says, on Oct. 16, 2014, Beaty "made course [sic], profane, and degrading, comments to a member of the wait staff at P&G Restaurant in South Bend, Ind." The report goes on to say officers shall not commit any acts which constitute violation of any of the rules, regulations, directives or orders of the department and that officers should conduct themselves on and off duty in such a manner as to reflect most favorably on the department.
The report goes on to name two other infractions in 2014 that Beaty was a part of. It also lists eight acts of misconduct during his 22 year career ranging from 1993 to 2010, and also mentions 12 citizen and administrative complaints with each requiring an independent investigation. So while the July hearing is the topic at the forefront, it's an entire career of misconduct that led to his firing.
"These reports were brought to my attention," Chief Ron Teachman of the South Bend Police Dept. said. "I reviewed them, reviewed the evidence within them and made a recommendation to the board and that recommendation was for the termination of the employee."
The board voted 3-1 with one board member abstaining since he was not a part of the board when the hearing took place. This is the third officer this year to receive a severe suspension or worse however Teachman doesn't think it's telling of the entire department.
"The public expects us to have high professional standards," Teachman said. "It expects me as Chief to impose those standards and hold the officers accountable. When they breach their duty by their behavior, you have to make corrective action. Thankfully, the South Bend Police Department overwhelmingly has great officers who serve this community with dedication, commitment and courage everyday. But occasionally, you have an officer that needs correction. Most offenses are minor. Verbal reprimands, extra training, those kinds of things happen routinely. But occasionally, you get an officer whose behavior is so unacceptable that I have no choice but to recommend termination. Unfortunately, some officers cross that line and we have to take this action."