The city of Romulus said Thursday that the Romulus Police Department suspended four officers for 30 days without pay.
In a news release Thursday, the city said the officers were suspended for "conduct unbecoming of an officer" in connection with their roles in an undercover operation.
The officers' names and details of their suspensions were not released.
However, Local 4 has learned that the officers were participating in the same acts that they were supposed to be investigating while working under the former police chief, Michael St. Andre.
Sources tell Local 4 that the officers were investigating allegations of prostitution at a local strip club and that their acts were sexual in nature.
New Police Chief Robert Dickerson said "that all four police officers suspended today violated the Police Officers Standards of Conduct by overstepping their authority while engaging in conduct unbecoming of a police officer while working on an undercover investigation."
"I had four officers, who were doing an undercover operation, who made serious errors, poor decisions and lack of judgement," Dickerson said.
Mayor Alan Lambert said the suspensions were made after an internal investigation that he started after reading police reports which were dug up by the Michigan State Police.
"While cooperating with the state police, we discovered some documents that showed our officers participated in some questionable behavior," Lambert said. "I became very concerned and discussed the situation first with Chief St. Andre, who assured me that the officers acted appropriately."
Dickerson recently replaced St. Andre, who signed a letter of resignation from his police chief position on Sept. 13.
St. Andre was chief during what the city calls "a long investigation into the Police Department by the Michigan State Police."
Dickerson said St. Andre was allowing the operation to continue while he knew about the officers actions. H said he and St. Andre "had a very constructive disagreement," and that St. Andre felt the operation was OK, while Dickerson said it was not up to his own standards.
"Unfortunately, the four suspended police officers reported directly to the former chief on all of their investigations and, by doing so, received minimal supervision and direction," Dickerson said. "However, that didn't give them the right to engage in this manner."
He said he wants to send the message that the officers are accountable for their actions.
- September 14, 2011: Romulus Police Chief To Resign Sept. 27
- March 17, 2011: Romulus Police Chief Off The Job
- March 15, 2011: Michigan State Investigators Raid Romulus Police Department