Town of Beloit officers disciplined for incident

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TOWN OF BELOIT — Town police officers LeAnn Jones and Jeremy Duncan and Police Sgt. Laura Palmer were determined to have violated police department policies related to an incident outside the Hog Cabin tavern on Jan. 7, according to information from Town of Beloit Police Chief Steve Kopp.

Kopp said the two officers encountered a vehicle in the parking lot of the Hog Cabin while they were conducting a bar check of the business on foot. They spoke with the driver of the vehicle, Audra Harding, who was a City of Beloit police officer at the time, and her male passenger.

The officers spoke to Harding and suspected she may have been drinking. Knowing she was an off-duty Beloit police officer, they called for a sergeant to respond to the scene.

Kopp said his officers did not follow the normal sequence of processing an investigation of an impaired driver, and did not conduct standardized field sobriety tests, which is the essence of the policy violation.

Harding was given a ride to her home. Her passenger was given a ride to a different location.

After the incident Kopp said he asked the Rock County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into the impaired driver incident.

“They determined that our officers and the sergeant violated some of our policies, and based on their investigation, there was discipline imposed and the matter is closed,” Kopp said.

The two officers had a documented counseling session explaining that they didn’t follow the proper procedure and processing for a suspected impaired driver. Palmer was given a written reprimand for violation of procedure.

Harding presented a letter of resignation from the Beloit Police Department on Feb. 17. The letter stated her resignation was effective that same day (Feb. 17). Beloit Police Chief Norm Jacobs said there was no investigation of the incident on behalf of the city department because Harding had resigned. Harding had been with the department since 2003.

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