Hearings for the six Mobile Police Department officers accused of misreporting property crimes will begin on Nov. 22 according to Chief James Barber.
“The first hearing will begin tomorrow and they should last about four weeks,” Barber said Nov. 21. “The six officers will each have their own hearing and the hearings will go through the ranks to see what controls broke down.”
On June 24, the MPD announced they were conducting an internal audit of at least the previous three months of burglaries because some were reported incorrectly in the First Precinct.
The precinct, which covers downtown, did not have any automobile burglaries for the past 35 days when the stats were examined, Public Information Officer Ashley Rains said, which seemed off since the area has a high concentration of cars, homes and businesses.
The investigation delved into three months of reports and found 108 property crimes were misreported. The MPD-issued a press release on Oct. 11 detailed the findings of the internal audit, which was self-initiated.
“Our investigators have determined that 108 of 3,203 reported property crimes were misclassified or downgraded for various reasons. The investigation revealed that of the 108 reports, 85 were from the First Precinct, three were from the Second Precinct, three were in the Third Precinct, 11 in the Fourth Precinct, and six in the Fifth Precinct,” the release states.
Barber said the investigation actually wasn’t officially completed until recently, but he wanted a quick conclusion to the issue.
The six officers will have their hearings in front of three senior officers, who will serve as if they were a panel of judges at a non-jury trial. The officers will have a chance to state their case while an attorney for the other side states the findings of the investigation. Each side will be able to present witnesses as well.
Barber said the three senior officers would make a recommendation to him. He would then decide his own recommendation to Mayor Sandy Stimpson.
The mayor is the one with the authority to make any decision on what will happen from there.