DOVER — Early Tuesday afternoon, Dover police announced that an investigation is ongoing into photos appearing to show two officers sleeping in their patrol vehicles.
The public notification was posted on the agency’s Facebook page and read: “The Dover Police Department is aware of a photo(s) circulating online that appear to show two of our officers asleep in their patrol vehicles on Monday night/Tuesday morning. We are actively investigating the circumstances surrounding this issue and the appropriate corrective action will occur in short order. The Dover Police Department Code of Conduct is modeled off of a national standard. That standard will be applied to this incident. The behavior is unacceptable to our agency, unfair to our citizens, and certainly outside of department policy.”
According to Dover police spokesman Sgt. Mark Hoffman, “Both officers remain employed but will be held accountable based on our department policy.”
He added, “We can provide an update on this issue upon completion of the review and within established guidelines.”
Through private and public social media messages and comments, Dover police learned of the photos early Tuesday, Sgt. Hoffman said.
Police believe the pictures are from Monday night or early Tuesday morning, the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift, he said.
“We have no reason to believe the photos are not legitimate,” he said, adding that the department’s command staff is handling the issue.
Additionally, “the health, well-being and overall safety of our officers is a top priority of the Dover Police Department. For safety reasons, we encourage our officers not to operate vehicles when fatigued,” Sgt. Hoffman said.
“There are also limits in policy on the number of hours an officer can work without a minimum amount of time off. During routine operations, should an officer not feel well or feel an unusual amount of fatigue, they are encouraged to speak with their supervisor, so proper measures can be taken.”
Within about an hour, the post elicited more than 350 reactions on Facebook. About three hours later, the number of comments was about 760.
An early comment read, “Hey you all deserve some rest. You all do a lot for our town. Thanks for everything.”
Other positive comments included:
Not all reactions to the photos were positive, however: