Three South Dakota Police Officers Face Standards Commission: 2 Lose Officer Certification
February 24, 2011 6:16 PM
Three South Dakota police officers are brought in front of the Law Enforcement Standards Commission.
They're accused of drinking and driving and shooting a gun out a truck window.
Drinking and driving is an offense police officers enforce on a regular basis, but now three South Dakota officers are accused of doing just that.
"If an officer is going to do something like that, he shouldn't be an officer," said Tea resident Lydia Thiesse, as she reacts to the officer's involvement.
Mark Gruhlke from the Mitchell Police Department, Sarina Waterman from Centerville, and Keith Munro from the Tea Police Department are named in a formal complaint.
According to documents obtained by KDLT News, Gruhlke was driving his truck after drinking and shooting a .223 calibar assault rifle out the front windows.
Police say Waterman also shot the gun at street signs. Munro is accused of driving the truck after drinking.
Documents show Munro also provided false information during the investigation, saying he never saw the other officers shoot the gun.
"They are suppose to enforce the law, why should they be able to break it?" questioned Thiesse.
Gruhlke was training with the Mitchell Police Department in May nearly a month after the incident happened but now he is no longer with the force.
"They happen to be able to tell us what to do but I don't think they should be held to any higher standard," said Dan Kuchta.
But many people do hold law enforcement officers to a high standard and now the Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training commission has made the final decision.
The board revoked Munro and Gruhlke's police certification. Waterman's certification was suspended for six months.
"It happens. Officers make mistakes, sometimes officers do dumb things and they pay the price for it just like anybody else," said Lincoln County Sheriff, Dennis Johnson.