LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Earlier this month, the Lafayette Police Civil Service Merit Commission met to discuss alleged violations of the department’s rules and polices by both Officers William Meluch and Blake Barker-Switzer.
Both Meluch and Barker-Switzer were suspended without pay.
“I think it’s important to note that both of these cases weren’t generated by external complaints,” Chief Patrick Flannelly said. “They were generated internally.”
Chief Flannelly declined to comment on specifics of the allegations. But he said with the merit board’s decision to suspend both officers, Flannelly believes they’re both being held responsible for their actions.
“Discipline for us, it’s not something that we do in a punitive manner,” Flannelly said. “What we’re really looking to do is to correct behavior and ensure high standards.”
In a document released by Chief Flannelly, it states that Officer Meluch faces a 10-day suspension without pay.
The document goes on to state that Officer Barker-Switzer faces a 20-day suspension without pay.
“Police officers not only hold themselves to high standards, but they also hold each other to high standards,” Chief Flannelly said. “I think in both of these cases, they’re good examples of where we identified that there were some issues that needed to be addressed and it was brought to the supervisor’s attention.”
Flannelly said once anything is reported to supervisors and administrators, and disciplinary action is required, these matters are then brought to the merit board which is made up of members of the community.
The board then decides what disciplinary actions to enforce.
In this case, the document includes that Officer Barker-Switzer will be on probation for two years and must submit to random drug and alcohol screening on a weekly basis. He’s also ordered to write an apology letter to anyone affected by his violation.