BCPD officer charged with drinking on the job
Updated: Wednesday, April 10 2013, 05:45 PM EDT
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A Battle Creek Police officer is charged with drinking and driving on the job, and being drunk with a gun in her possession.
A judge arraigned Officer Jennifer Appl Tuesday morning. Investigators say she smelled of alcohol when she showed up at work over the weekend.
A co-worker did a breath test and court documents show her blood alcohol registered at 0.13. Later, when State Police administered a test, she blew a 0.07.
Investigators say Appl had already been out driving patrol for a couple hours that night.
"Knowing the history, you want that employee to get help," said City Manager Ken Tsuchiyama.
The city manager explains those concerns must come to the right chain of command first before he can take action.
"There is a lot of rumor and conjecture of what may have happened in the past. I'm a firm believer that every story has more than one side of it and we should not make personnel decisions based on one side of the story," said the city manager.
The city manager defended the way Appl has been handled in the past.
In a July 2012 letter, Police Chief Jackie Hampton wrote to Officer Appl, "I'm concerned the consumption of alcohol will continue to create problems for you in the work environment and therefore affect your performance." At the time, she was suspended 15 days.
Later that month, she was a passenger in a drunk driving crash with fellow police officer William Gensch.
Gensch was by her side in court.
A judge entered a not guilty plea on Appl's behalf, she remains on paid administrative leave. While it may not seem as harsh, the city manager says that's because she's a public worker, and the city must follow disciplinary procedures already in place.
"Sometimes through all those processes we may issue things less than what folks may want, but again you have to take each situation on its own merits," said Tsuchiyama.
The city manager says he still has not received the criminal report involving Officer Appl.
There is a city commission meeting Tuesday night.
The city manager says this issue is not on the agenda, because it is considered a personnel issue.
Public comment is welcome.
Newschannel 3 plans to be at the meeting tonight and will have more for you tonight at 10 and 11 p.m.