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Police: Aurora officers heading to funeral were drunk in police car

9:26 PM, Aug 11, 2011   |    comments
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The officers were arrested in Goshen County about 6:30 p.m. They were heading to the funeral of two officers from another department who were recently killed in South Dakota, Goshen County Sherriff's Capt. Brian Morehouse told 9Wants to Know.

Morehouse stopped the officers' car after a volunteer firefighter called dispatch to say he saw a police car speeding, a passenger throwing trash out of the car and the officers using the vehicle's emergency lights to pass other cars.

When Morehouse stopped the police car, he said he could smell alcohol in the car and found beer in a cooler inside the patrol car.

He arrested Aurora Police Officer Bradley B. Bickett when he failed a roadside sobriety test and later blew a .07 on a breathalyzer machine.

Bickett was cited for DWUI-alcohol which is a misdemeanor, careless driving and speeding. Morehouse said he clocked Bickett traveling 57 mph in a 40 mph zone.

"It is a great embarrassment to not only our department, but to law enforcement across the board," Cassidee Carlson with the Aurora Police Department said. "The feeling here at the Aurora Police Department is disbelief again."

Bickett was taken to jail at 6:51 p.m. Wednesday and released at 12:46 a.m. Thursday.

Morehouse said an Aurora Police Department Commander picked up Bickett, who was required to have a BAC of .00 before he was allowed to leave the jail. Bickett's passenger, Aurora Police Officer Gerald Kirby, was cited for littering.

"Our chief extended a phone call to their sheriff to apologize for the actions of our officers and additionally to thank him and his deputies for their professionalism and action in the matter," Carlson said.

Morehouse says that when the volunteer firefighter called to report the erratically-driven patrol car, he said the patrol car had almost hit two motorcycles.

The volunteer firefighter told 9Wants to Know that he was concerned for the safety of everyone on the road.

The officers were not in uniform at the time they were stopped, Morehouse told 9Wants to Know.

"These officers will be placed in a non-uniform role when they arrive back to work next week, where they won't have contact with the public until this serious discipline is reviewed," Carlson said.

Morehouse says both officers were cooperative during their arrest.

"We have more than 600 officers that come here every day and do a great service for the City of Aurora," Carlson said. "Unfortunately, these officers made very poor decisions that now are causing us to get in front of the camera and [address] the embarrassment that they've caused."

9Wants to Know will continue to investigate this.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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