Lansing Sergeant Arrested for Drunk Driving

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

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.

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  • by Steve Location: Dewitt on Aug 29, 2012 at 08:02 AM
    I guess he should just be thankful that the officer didnt slam his head off the side of the cruiser or some of the other fine things that cops like to do to drunk people.
  • by steven Location: howell on Aug 28, 2012 at 03:03 PM
    Rt, Ur an idiot. You have no clue. As a retired officer, I can tell you NO ONE and I mean NO ONE can tell you what the real stress is on the the job. Can you tell me how to handle fathers raping their daughters, parents selling their kids for drugs or beating them so badly they will never pee normal again. I think not so take your self-rightous attitude and put it where the sun dont shine Every cop doesnt KNOW the real stress they will be put under or the horriffic things they will see. God Bless MR. Johnson
    • reply
      by RT on Aug 28, 2012 at 06:14 PM in reply to steven
      I'd expect a COP to call someone names like a child, but you embarrass yourself more than you insult me. I also expect a COP to make EXCUSES for another COP. What other things did you make excuses for when you were on the job?? How many incidents of misconduct like drunk driving by other COPS did you make excuses for?? Self rightious?? You're the one with arrest powers and the authority over all us unwashed heathen who aren't cops--guess it kinda bothers you, your highness, that the people of this city are tired of cops like YOU and this drunk-driving cop trying to get away with being above the law. I'll bet you wouldn't be so willing to make excuses for an average citizen who did the same thing but since he has a badge it's a different story.
      • reply
        by anonymous on Aug 29, 2012 at 06:23 AM in reply to RT
        RT, I sure hope you dont need a "COP" on day to save your life. People are human and are not perfect by any means. These eople put their lives on the line to help you. I do not say that they should be drunk driving but lapses in judgement can be made-by anyone. sounds to me like you got a ticket or something else you deserved and are angry at the police.
        • reply
          by RT on Aug 29, 2012 at 05:21 PM in reply to anonymous
          Cops ONLY show up AFTER something has happened...and they call someone else to clean up the mess. Believe me, I take the necessary measures to assure the defense of me and my own--if I, or anyone else relied on the police for protection of our lives, we'd be in a a world of hurt. By the way, I've never had ANY run-ins with the police...I only have a problem with cops having a different standard than the average citizen. Do you truly believe it's ethical, moral, if not legal for a cop to be arrested for drunk driving and then be allowed to return to his job and arrest others for the same thing?...I make NO apologies that I see a significant ethical conflict there. Where do you draw the line at when a cop DOES lose his job for committing a crime? The police have a fantastic amount of authority over you and I, and as a result they must be held to a standard befitting that authority.
  • by Melinda on Aug 26, 2012 at 03:49 PM
    Mr. Johnson is a fine, up standing citizen. This is a very unfortunate situation. Unless you know all the facts please, do not judge a person or assume they are like all the rest. And regular citizens do not normally loose their license, their job, and/or go to jail for the FIRST offense.
    • reply
      by Barry on Aug 26, 2012 at 07:53 PM in reply to Melinda
      There are many fine, upstanding citizens who make mistakes. That does not mean that he should not face the consequences of those actions. And in this case, an officer who is arrested for drunk driving should be terminated on the account that police officers ought to be held to a higher standard. DUI's are a career ender.
      • reply
        by anonymous on Aug 27, 2012 at 03:33 PM in reply to Barry
        so should people that work on assembly lines be fired, oohh ooohh ohhh how bout nurses and doctors, or wait the 90 yr old grandma. Come on we are all human and make mistakes. if he had several offenses i agree termination but with all the stress in the line of work these days i can see this totally happening.( i am married to an officer)EVERYONE makes mistakes so when you are perfect come back and speak
        • reply
          by RT on Aug 28, 2012 at 07:24 AM in reply to anonymous
          Nice try at making an excuse. Every cop KNOWS what they are getting themselves into BEFORE they pin on the badge and strap on the gun so spare us the stress factor nonsense. OOOOHHH...oooohhh....your example of nurses and doctors doesn't fly either--they DON'T have arrest powers, do they?? A doctor can't throw you in jail--and if a doctor shows up DRUNK he loses his job! Cops have an INCREDIBLE amount of authority over the common citizen and when they disregard the higher standard maybe it's time they find employment in another field.
    • reply
      by Steve on Aug 27, 2012 at 04:09 AM in reply to Melinda
      thank you for the clarification, Mrs. Johnson....
  • by duck Location: st. Johns on Aug 26, 2012 at 05:38 AM
    Wondering if there is an arrest booking photo and not just a job id photo. If he was a common citizen the photo would be an arrest/booking shot. Also wondering if the police chief who will make a discipline decision should be visiting her officer while investigation is ongoing?
    • reply
      by Anon on Aug 29, 2012 at 11:36 PM in reply to duck
      If I were to make an assumption, he probably was not actually arrested and put in jail. Didn't one of the articles say he went to the hospital and was treated and released? He probably only received a ticket and never even saw the jail. So that may be why they are using his job id photo and not a mug shot. But just guessing.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 25, 2012 at 03:00 PM
    He will get a slap on the wrist and that is all that is going to happen. They are all the same they protect there own even if there own is wrong in what they did. This is not right they are no better than anyone else and need to be treated like anyone else would be treated for drinking and driving. He needs to do some time for this and that is all there is to it but that won't happen.
    • reply
      by Anon on Aug 25, 2012 at 06:54 PM in reply to
      LPD has always protected their command officers no matter what they did. Officers get terminated but not command.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 26, 2012 at 01:22 AM in reply to
      Do some time? No one spends time in jail for their first offense...they get the night, or in this case day they spent in jail and then fines! He probably will get a slap on the wrist though, he only got arrested because dtpd was taking so much heat for their obvious cover up of their own officer!
    • reply
      by Andrew on Aug 26, 2012 at 12:11 PM in reply to
      You're telling me that there's a chance that these same officers could actually keep their jobs and make arrests for DUI's? A little hypocritical don't you think? Aren't these so-called officers supposed to be held to a higher standard? Contact your congressmen and tell them you want an investigation opened into both the officers listed in this article. An internal investigation? What a joke. Both of these matters should be investigated by an outside department. Not internally.
  • by Steve Location: Dewitt on Aug 25, 2012 at 02:24 PM
    My mistake, it was a Dewitt offecer that so graciously arrested the LPD officer after covering up the drunken driving of one of their own the night before. Really??? Dewitt PD is a joke!
  • by Anonymous on Aug 25, 2012 at 02:22 PM
    So Dewitt PD covers up a drunken Sargent of their own..and arrests a lansing officer. That is pretty shocking.. Double standards. And the people do nothing. No reaction at all.Both were most likely guilty.
  • by mike Location: lansingI on Aug 25, 2012 at 09:51 AM
    He should get a job in DeWitt he could get away with it.
  • by sandy on Aug 25, 2012 at 08:21 AM
    why is he not in jail. not only did he break the law he could have killed someone, he should face the same thing anyone else that was drunk driving would get.. jail and lose his license not a paid vacation,
  • by Steve Location: Dewitt on Aug 25, 2012 at 06:09 AM
    Yes your right, its not common.... It's usually burried like they are doing up in Dewitt right now. Thank you for doing the right thing LPD!!!
    • reply
      by Jimbo on Aug 25, 2012 at 10:14 AM in reply to Steve
      I believe the article states Dewitt made the arrest of the LPD Officer,so LPD could not sweep it under the rug. Search CraigsList for "LPD" sometime...very interesting.
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