YOUNGSTOWN — A police department internal affairs investigation is under way into allegations that officers left their positions while on duty.
Mayor Jay Williams says the allegation involves between two and four police officers who were working an overnight shift June 14.
He didn’t know if those involved are patrol officers or ranking personnel.
Police Chief Jimmy Hughes couldn’t be reached.
The officers continue to work because no violations have been substantiated, the mayor said.
“If a violation is determined to have occurred, I’m prepared to pursue the harshest penalty allowed,” he said.
Williams categorized the investigation as being in its early stages.
When it concludes, the information will be delivered to Hughes and the mayor.
“Obviously, an investigation with allegations of this magnitude, I’m going to be involved,” Williams said.
If the allegations prove true, the process will follow the procedures outlined in the police contract. It calls for progressive discipline, the mayor said, and termination is possible.
“There is a well-worn, well-established procedure for it to go through,” he said.
This marks the second alleged infraction of departmental policy in the last month.
On June 19, Detective Sgt. Robert Deichman, who worked in the police department’s accident investigation unit, was killed when his unmarked car crashed into a tractor-trailer that pulled into his path on Salt Springs Road.
Deichman’s blood-alcohol concentration was 0.158, nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08. Deichman was off duty but on call at the time of the crash.