3 SPD employees reprimanded for DUI, drunken behavior

SEATTLE -- In the three months following a Seattle Police Department memo to employees reminding them not to drink and drive, three department employees were reprimanded for driving under the influence or drunken behavior, according to the most recent Office of Professional Accountability Complaint Report.

In April, then-Chief John Diaz sent out the memo after 11 department employees were investigated for driving under the influence in 2012. At the time, Diaz reminded employees that community tolerance for officers driving drunk is "very low."

The Office of Professional Accountability Complaint Report covering April, May and June was released Friday and contains 44 total complaints filed against Seattle Police Department employees. Three of those were for DUI or drunken behavior.

In the first complaint, a department supervisor said an employee was arrested for DUI and drank alcohol while driving a city vehicle. Those allegations were shown to be true, and the employee was terminated, according to the report.

In the second complaint, a department employee was shown to have been arrested for DUI and hit and run while driving a city vehicle, according to the report. That employee was suspended for five days without pay.

According to the Seattle Police Department, employees are only automatically terminated following a second DUI.

The third complaint stems from an incident that took place in Canada. According to the report, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said a Seattle Police Department officer acted inappropriately, using profanity and making rude remarks.

According to the report, the officer flashed his badge to security in order to get into an event for free even though the officer had no legitimate reason to do so. The officer had reportedly been drinking at the time.

The officer was punished -- to the tune of a 10-day suspension without pay -- for profanity, a lack of courtesy and displaying his badge while drinking alcohol. But, there was a disagreement between the Office of Professional Accountability and the Chief of Police over the misuse of authority included in the complaint.

Ed. note: An earlier version of this article stated the Seattle Police Department started a program called Safe Call to assist officers and other employees with alcohol-abuse issues. It was actually started by an inter-agency group in 2009. We apologize for the error.