An Evansville police officer has received a three day suspension without pay for neglecting his duties of guarding a prisoner with a history of violence.
Officer Josh Doane, a veteran of the Evansville Police Department, was suspended in mid-May at the recommendation of Chief Billy Bolin. On Monday, the Merit Commission agreed with that punishment.
In mid-April, Doane was assigned to prisoner detail at St. Mary's Hospital, according to police records. The detail involves watching over a prisoner to make sure he or she doesn't escape or have unauthorized visitors bring in drugs or weapons. The prisoner being guarded has a long history of violent crime and drug abuse, police said. The
According to the personnel order notifying Doane of his suspension, investigators determined that Doane left the prisoner unguarded for an extended period of time. In that time frame, Doane went to the cafeteria and went outside to his patrol car. EPD's Information Technology Unit confirmed that Doane had sent electronic messages from his vehicle's on-board computer at the time he should have been guarding the prisoner, according to the personnel order. Surveillance video also showed that Doane was absent from his duty, police said.
Doane has received numerous honors and commendations in his career. Doane's suspension is an example of a good cop making a bad decision, said Sgt. Jason Cullum.
"We took this very seriously, evident by an unpaid suspension," Sgt. Cullum said. "But this isn't a case where he went out and violated someone's rights. We're not talking about criminal acts. This is a department violation."
Doane served his suspension in late May, Sgt. Cullum said. Furthermore, officials don't expect Doane to appeal his suspension because he has taken ownership of the mistake.
"This is a good officer. He's been in our department for a number of years now and he does good work," Sgt. Cullum said. "Unfortunately, he made a bad decision in this particular case and he'll have to pay for it."