Lansing Police Sergeant Todd Johnson was arrested for drunk driving after he caused a car accident on Chandler and State roads. The Lansing Police release his name Friday. The officer was put on paid administrative leave after the drunk driving accident happened Thursday around 3:30 p.m.
"No it is not common," said Chief Teresa Szymanski of the Lansing Police Department. "It's very disappointing that this occurred. We are held to a higher standard in the Lansing Police Department and we expect more out of our employees."
Johnson, a 41-year-old, has been on the Lansing force since 1995. The 17 year veteran of the Lansing Police Department was arrested by Dewitt Township Police. While the DeWitt Township Police are handling the criminal investigation, Lansing Police are internally investigating. Once that process is complete, they will determine a punishment.
"Discipline can range from anywhere from a written reprimand, to termination of an employee," said Szymanski. "We take these complaints very seriously and we hold our officers to a very high standard."
Johnson was traveling south on Chandler Road when he turned right on State Road. Police say he took the turn too wide and too fast and ran into a cargo truck. The crash happened while Johnson was off duty. Johnson was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. The two people in the cargo truck were not hurt.
The Lansing chief of police has spoken to the officer.
"He is very concerned, about not only his professional career, but certainly other things that involve and come with this," said Szymanski.
As of Friday there is no timeline for when both the criminal and internal investigations will be finished or when a final decision on the penalties will be made.
"I can't speak for the criminal portion of it, but in terms of the internal portion of it, we are moving forward on that," said Szymanski. "We have opened up a complaint, and we will move through the due process system as quickly as possible."
This is the second officer in Mid-Michigan involved in an off-duty car accident where alcohol played a role. A DeWitt Township sergeant is waiting to find out if he'll be suspended or temporarily demoted after crashing into a garage after drinking a few beers last weekend. He was under the legal limit.