Officer Fired For Stopping Drunk Driver Outside Jurisdiction

Former Indianapolis University Health Police Officer Damon Love was fired after he stopped a suspected DUI downtown.

Indianapolis, IN – A former Indiana University (IU) Health police officer is calling for policy changes after he was fired for stopping a drunk driver off hospital property.

Former IU Health Police Officer Damon Love said that thinking with his conscience cost him his job, WXIN reported.

Officer Love was on duty in the early morning hours of June 22 when he spotted a suspected drunk driver downtown.

"I called the IU Health Police Department dispatch to let them know I had a possible 1055 driver," he said.

The officer said the car was driving erratically so he initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle at 16th and Illinois Street, according to WXIN.

"I did notice this driver was swerving into oncoming traffic as we followed him and stopping in the street and then taking off," he said.

But Officer Love pulled the suspected DUI over in an area off hospital property, which is a violation IU Health Police Department policy, WXIN reported.

“IU Health Officers may stop a vehicle on their property if they spot a crime being committed; otherwise the dispatcher should contact IMPD and keep the visual on the vehicle,” according to the officer and dispatch manual.

"That rule is silly because as you can see, it puts the police officer in a predicament that's sworn to serve and protect. It didn’t say to only serve and protect on IU’s property," the former police officer told WXIN.

Officer Love’s termination paperwork said he was fired for “knowingly stopping a vehicle on a city streetway not on IU Health’s property.”

It said that he violated hospital rules and regulations and disobeyed a sergeant, WXIN reported.

The termination paperwork also said that because Officer Love had violated policy, the suspected drunk driver could not be arrested after the stop.

However, policy violations don't affect probable cause for local officers to make an arrest.

Regardless, officers called a safe ride home for the suspected drunk driver.

The recently-fired officer said that policy was stupid and needed to be changed, WXIN reported.

"Officers are going to be out grabbing food, or they are going to be at the CVS getting something to drink, and something is going to happen,” he said. “They’re going to freeze because they are going to think for a moment, 'Do I save my job, or do I save a life?'”

Former Officer Love said he planned to file a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, WXIN reported.

Comments (32)
No. 1-14
Goodguys
Goodguys

If that’s all there is to the firing, don’t worry Officer Love, there are literally hundreds of agencies that will pick you up.

Hospital PD’s tend to focus on touchy feely play nice with the “patients” cultures rather than the take care of business approach Officer Love did here.

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

While some might disagree with the termination, if the policy says you shall only enforce the laws on hospital property, and he knowingly violated the rule, than he deserves the consequences of his actions. He broke the rules and regulations of his employer, as well as disobeyed his supervisor; it's pretty cut and dry.

Officer Love, go apply to a department that doesn't have these stupid rules. When someone asks why you were terminated from IUHPD, tell them it was because you pulled over a drunk driver before said drunk ran over a crowd of kids, off hospital property while on duty in a marked patrol vehicle.

Sapphirelady66
Sapphirelady66

This is sad and stupid. Go out and find a job that deserves a good police officer that cares!

LunaMay
LunaMay

This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Wow this is so sad

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

was this the first time he did this?

vwiles34
vwiles34

Sounds ridiculous, Now if someone saw him and knew he had seen the drunk driver but did nothing and the driver had run into a car and people had died. There would be lawsuits against him and the hospital for not taking action when they saw him driving drunk.

Repubic*of*USA1
Repubic*of*USA1

It's a sorry world we live in when an officer of any kind cannot stop a reckless driver, who could possibly harm or kill someone. Even though he was told not to intervene with the person, but what if he did harm or kill another person he would also be held accountable as I'm sure the hospital. Even though if he did stop the person he could have waited for the personnel in blue to show up and take over. The security personnel took someone off the streets from harming others. I say well done officer Love you should get an accommodation. As for your higher ups they/he shou get a jail sentence.

bluedog_2g2
bluedog_2g2

If in fact Officer Love violated department policy, given the circumstances of this situation, stopping a suspected DUI driver and protecting the public, Officer Love should have received a verbal reprimand or letter of reprimand, but not termination.

Stanracer
Stanracer

Idiots.

xenonman
xenonman

Any cop working for a public authority usually has full-police power anywhere in the state in which he was sworn, in this case IN.

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

The sooner Officer Love realizes he will be able to get a job almost anywhere else and that he will be appreciated , the better. What he did was commendable . He needs to explain to any other hiring organization that what he did was in the interest of public safety and for the well being of the general public and he needs to explain this with confidence. It may take a few attempts but he needs to look forward and not backwards .

Buffrat
Buffrat

Another example that Police Administrations all over this country have no frickin clue that common sense is also one of the traits of a capable officer. That rule could have easily said: "If in the officers opinion the health and safety of the public is in peril, he may make a traffic stop and request the local police to continue the investigation." But then most administrators forget how to be a street cop the minute they pin on the Chiefs/Commissioner/Director Badge and become nothing but a lemming for the political administration and legal department. GOOD JOB OFFICER LOVE. Those of us who matter salute your actions.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

One policy change that I would make if I were the hospital: no leaving hospital grounds while on duty. I am sure they have food at the hospital and the officers are needed there.

IsupportLEOs
IsupportLEOs

Doesn't Indianapolis have interagency agreements in place with law enforcement in adjacent areas that allow them to cross jurisdictional lines at times? Even if this was a college or hospital police agency rather than a municipality, if these are sworn officers, I don't see the problem. Would he have been allowed to detain the suspect outside his jurisdiction and call the appropriate department? I don't see why it shold have called for his dismissal unless there's more to the story that I'm missing.