The following is a statement from Mayor Jeremy Stutsman:
In the early morning hours of December 14, 2018 two off-duty Goshen Police officers were involved in a traffic stop. This stop resulted in one officer being arrested for OWI, Operating While Intoxicated, and started an investigation into possible shots fired. Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department was contacted shortly after to complete the investigation. After the Sheriff’s Department completed their investigation the case was turned over to the Elkhart County Prosecutors Office. During this time the Goshen Police Department has also completed an internal investigation.
On Monday February 25, 2019, immediately following the 2 p.m. Board of Works meeting, Chief Jose’ Miller will hold a press conference to share what GPD has done to date and actions that have been taken, as well as take questions.
In the meantime, I want to acknowledge the frustrations that some in our community have surrounding this incident, and share many of these same feelings. This process has taken much longer than any of us would have liked. However it has taken this long to ensure we had all the information possible so that we could make sure the appropriate courses of action are in place.
The severity of this incident has not been overlooked. These types of actions cannot be tolerated, especially by those we trust to protect us. Poor decisions were made by a few Goshen Police officers, and those decisions must have consequences. Disciplinary actions are being finalized. There are several pieces to this incident and we will be dealing with each one of these in an appropriate manner deserving of the action. The disciplinary actions recommended by Chief Miller include a reduction in rank, a long-term suspension, and a resignation.
I feel very strongly that the men and women of the GPD are honorable and trustworthy. The actions of a few should not reflect negatively on the rest of the department.
It is important that we all reflect on our frustrations surrounding this incident but I ask that you reserve your final judgement of our department until after you know the final results and actions the City is taking. I am disappointed in the choices of the two off-duty officers and at the same time I am proud of Chief Miller and the remaining GPD officers for how they are handling this situation.
My Administration will always strive to prove to you the dedication, integrity and honor the men and women of our police department carry with them every day. I will continue to demand a high level of integrity, respect and service from all the members of GPD.