Suspected drunk Roseville cop driven home, not arrested

James David Dickson
The Detroit News
Police car.

Ferndale's police department is investigating why an off-duty Roseville police officer, who was pulled over and suspected of drunken driving earlier this month, was driven to the police station and then chauffeured home by police, rather than being arrested as a suspect. 

It all started with a stop for driving the wrong way on Woodward — southbound on the northbound side. That was about 12:30 a.m. Nov. 9, said Police Chief Timothy Collins.

After the vehicle was pulled over, "eventually it came out" the suspect was an off-duty Roseville police officer.

The officer believed the Roseville cop and his wife, a female passenger who is a police officer for the Troy Police Department, were both intoxicated.

After a lieutenant was notified, the lieutenant passed down an order: Park the suspect's car and drive him home.

Before being taken home, the suspect was brought to the Ferndale Police Department, according to police. Collins didn't immediately know how long the suspect was at the police station.

The suspect was never given any type of sobriety test, Collins said. 

A little more than a week later, a Ferndale police officer made the administration aware of what had happened. An internal investigation was launched the next day. Last Friday, the off-duty officer was formally charged with operating under the influence.

Internal affairs is handling the investigation and will pass on its findings to the captain's office. In the end, Collins will make a determination on what becomes of the police officers involved.

No one has been suspended, and anything from a reprimand to dismissal is possible. 

Collins said such an investigation is "not the funnest part of being police chief but necessary." 

Asked whether the lack of a sobriety test for the suspect would imperil a successful prosecution, Collins said that blood alcohol content is not a requirement for a drunken driving case. 

"Is it the standard? Absolutely. Is it necessary? No," Collins said.

Ferndale police declined to release the suspect's name, citing an "active investigation."

Roseville Police Chief James Berlin said the suspect is a 14-year veteran of the department. Roseville Police Department is investigating his actions, but that investigation has yet to conclude. 

Berlin said that concerns that an officer was extended preferential treatment "undermine trust and integrity" of the police.

Captain Bob Redmond of the Troy Police said the department was made aware of the incident "about 10 days ago," when the female passenger, who works for the department, was on vacation. Since her return, Redmond said, he has counseled her on appropriate off-duty behavior.

The department is investigating the incident, but Redmond said there's not much that can be done.

"As far as we know, she did not violate any laws or do anything wrong," Redmond said. "She was sleeping in the car as her husband was driving home. Had she been the driver, that's a different conversation."