Off-duty Roseville officer driven home after suspected of drinking, driving in Ferndale

Internal investigations underway at two police departments

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®, Dave Bartkowiak Jr.

FERNDALE, Mich. - Police departments in Ferndale and Roseville are conducting internal investigations after an off-duty Roseville police officer was pulled over while driving the wrong way on Woodward Avenue. 

The officer was pulled over about 12:30 a.m. Nov. 9. He was suspected of drinking while driving and was taken to the Ferndale Police Department. Police said his passenger also was suspected of being intoxicated. 

However, the officer was not arrested and instead was taken home, as was his passenger. A breathalyzer test never was administered, sources said. 

"A supervisor was notified, who ordered the driver and passenger to be brought to the Ferndale Police Department, and later to be driven home," a statement from Ferndale police reads. 

Roseville Police Chief James Berlin said they are taking the situation very seriously and are conducting an internal investigation. The Ferndale Police Department also is conducting an internal investigation. 

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Ferndale police said their department's administration first was made aware of the incident on Nov. 17 and a criminal complaint was submitted Nov. 24 against the driver for a warrant for operating under the influence -- the case is currently active and ongoing.

“On the surface, this appears to be an example of poor decision making by one of our lieutenants,” said Ferndale Police Chief Tim Collins said. “As a police department, we take cases of operating and driving under the influence incredibly seriously. It’s a critical threat to public health and safety, and we as a department work regularly to educate the community to reduce instances of intoxicated driving."

Collins said if the lieutenant's actions are found to be in violation of policy and procedure once the investigation is complete, the individual will face appropriate disciplinary measures. He expects the investigation to be complete within the next week.

"Our jobs are complex and we trust our people to use sound judgment," Collins said. "When somebody makes a call that is unsafe or not indicative of the department’s values and operations, we take that seriously and we act accordingly."

The chief added that within the next month the entire department will be going through an educational program about intoxicated driving. 

“We will do everything in our power to ensure that this kind of error isn’t made again,” Collins said.

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