LELAND, N.C. (WECT) — A Leland police officer has been disciplined after a photo was posted on social media that showed the officer’s patrol car parked in a handicap space.
The photo, which was first posted Friday morning in the Leland NC Traffic Reports group on Facebook, showed the patrol car backed up and sitting in a handicap space at the State Employee’s Credit Union in the Walmart shopping center off US 17.
Chief Mike James released a statement on the Leland Police Department’s Facebook page saying he was “disappointed to see a member of my staff, who does not have a privilege to park in a space which has been reserved for those with disabilities, park in this reserved space.”
James said the officer has been identified and disciplinary action was taken.
“I want to let the residents know I hold members of my staff to a high standard when it comes to accountability and apologize for this incident,” James said.
Lt. Jeremy Humphries, a spokesperson for the Leland Police Department, declined to release the name of the officer or elaborate on what kind of disciplinary action was taken saying it was a personnel matter.
Humphries did say the officer was conducting official police business when the incident happened and the officer has apologized to the bank.
“We own it and the officer made a poor judgment,” said Humphries. “That kind of behavior won’t be tolerated at the department. Everybody here is held to a high standard by the chief and the other lieutenants.”
A Corporal Dustin Melton called the WECT newsroom Sunday afternoon. Corporal Melton said he was the officer who parked in the handicap space and wanted to issue the following apology statement:
“I apologize. It was not done intentionally. I understand the perception of the photo was bad. I was not trying to flex my power and it was an honest mistake.”
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