INDIANAPOLIS -- The assistant chief of Plainfield police is serving a two-week suspension for violating the department’s alcohol policy – but officers under her command say that’s not sufficient.
The president of the Plainfield Board of Police Commissioners told Call 6 Investigates that Assistant Chief Carri Weber admitted to getting behind the wheel of her department-issued squad car after drinking at a golf outing. Weber also admitted to carrying beer cans in her squad car.
Both actions are clear violations of the department’s alcohol policies.
As punishment, Weber was given a two-week suspension without pay and is banned from driving a department-issued car for 30 days.
That punishment, though, is far under what the department’s own policies say it should be, according to Plainfield police officers who reached out to Call 6 Investigates on condition of anonymity.
According to Plainfield Police Department written policy, “no officer shall operate a department vehicle within eight hours of consuming any alcoholic beverage. No officer shall operate a department vehicle or report for duty at any time with a blood alcohol level over .00 percent.”
The policy states there is “zero tolerance” for any officer operating a department vehicle with a BAC over .00 percent, and that violation of the policy is cause for automatic dismissal.
Plainfield officers reached out to Call 6 Investigates after, they said, they felt like they couldn’t speak up within the department.
“We feel our hands are tied because we fear retaliation if we voice our concerns and feelings,” the officers said.
The officers told Call 6 Investigates that they feel like the assistant chief’s punishment makes a “mockery” of department policies.
"We as officers feel like the chief and assistant chief have made a mockery of our policies and procedures and if they can't follow them then how and why should we?" the officers said. "We would like to show a vote of NO confidence in the chief and assistant chief for the way this situation was handled and condoned by them.”
The town of Plainfield issued a brief statement to Call 6 Investigates saying police disciplinary actions are handled by the Plainfield Board of Police Commissioners.
“The Commissioners acted within their purview by disciplining Major Weber for these violations,” the town said. “She has been suspended without pay for two weeks and is without driving privileges for thirty days.”
According to the officers who contacted Call 6 Investigates, even when Weber returns from her suspension, her ability to lead may be damaged.
“At a very minimum she should have been removed from that position and demoted to a patrol officer because she cannot be effective in a supervisory position due to the lack of trust and respect the officers now have towards her,” the officers said. “I can say the overwhelming feeling from the majority of officers is that she should have been asked to resign.”