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Cop disciplined for good deed

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Cop disciplined for good deed

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
October 3, 2012


Crystal Lake police officer Brian Burr was disciplined with three days' unpaid leave (reduced to one day) for doing a good deed early one morning in September.

You can read the entire article here in the Northwest Herald.

So much for being the good guy. Seems a homeowner called the police on September 9th to report a "suspicious" car parked on the street in front of his house in the early morning hours. Ofc. Burr was dispatched and found a man in the back seat. The man lived seven houses away.

Ofc. Burr drove him home after a back-up officer arrived. Then he drove the man's car home and parked it, because of Crystal Lake's overnight parking restrictions.

So Ofc. Burr busted a Department policy by driving the man's car home - seven doors.

But, you know, everything has to be done "by the book". The Chief cried, "What if he'd gotten in a wreck?" In seven driveways?

So probably the worst thing that Ofc. Burr did was not to write up a report on his shift and turn it in.

On the other hand, probably many drivers have been busted for DUI even though they weren't behind the wheel when the cop showed up. Maybe their keys weren't even in the ignition. It wouldn't take three guesses to figure out who the driver was and to find the keys.

But the driver looks like he'll escape a DUI charge and save $10 Grand.

Ofc. Burr was offered "educational disciplinary initiative". By completing it, two days get lopped off his three-day suspension. Hmmm, is it offered on duty time?

One law-enforcement officer contacted me about the choices Ofc. Burr could have made that morning.

"#1 The officer could have lied and said that the keys were in the vehicle or within reach, which he didn't do.

"#2 He could simply let the occupant walk home and possibly get run over by a car, or he might be intoxicated and enter the wrong home by mistake, causing a big problem.

"#3 He could give the driver a ride home, making sure he got in safely and return to patrol duties.

"#4 He could have simply done nothing, driven away, and allowed the driver to drive home and crash into a house, a car, a person, and then tried to explain the next day why he didn't do anything.

"The officer made the right, moral choice."

The Northwest Herald is not allowing readers to comment on its story. No victim. No death. No arrest. No juvenile. Why no comments?



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