When Is a Violation Not a Violation?

According to Austin Police Dept. administrators and the city of Austin, former APD officer Tim Enlow violated numerous departmental policies -- violations that allegedly necessitated his termination. Yet testimony at Enlow's civil service arbitration hearing reflects that he wasn't the only policy violator -- merely the only one dismissed for those violations.

Among the APD policies (or city laws) other officers may have violated:

  • A201.01D Reporting Violations: All employees of the Austin Police Department have an obligation and responsibility to report all facts or credible information they know regarding any criminal activity by other Department employees or any serious breech of departmental directives or orders.

  • A201.01D2 Suspected Policy Violation: No employee shall fail to report to his/her immediate supervisor any officer or civilian employee of the Department known or believed to be guilty of violation of any rules, regulations, or any order issued for the operation of the Department. ... All supervisors ... are required to immediately take action when a violation of the Department orders/directives/policies/procedures comes to their attention. ...

  • A201.04K18 b. Dereliction of Duty:

    (i) Failure of a supervisor to initiate appropriate corrective or disciplinary action against any employee for a violation of the Department's written directives or other relevant rules and regulations in a timely manner shall constitute dereliction of duty on the part of the supervisor.

    (ii) Supervisors are accountable for the actions of all employees subject to their command. They shall properly supervise their subordinates. When violations of these rules are identified, supervisors shall promptly initiate appropriate correction or disciplinary action, and make the necessary reports concerning the same, through channels.

  • A109.07 [Internal Affairs] Investigative Process: (g) If the [IAD] investigator determines that any significant discrepancies exist between the allegations and the employee's response, efforts will be made to resolve the discrepancies.

  • A302.09 Dress Code for Secondary Employment: A3 Police vehicles are not normally to be used for any extra-duty employment. [This "dress code" is different for SWAT team members, as Enlow was and as Cmdr. Putman is. SWAT members are required to have their cars at all times. Yet the APD is relying on this policy as the basis of one of their allegations against Enlow.]

  • Texas Local Government Code 143.053 Appeal of Disciplinary Suspension: In a hearing conducted under this section, the department head is restricted to the department head's original written statement and charges, which may not be amended.
    • More of the Story

    • Matters of Perception

      Evidence suggest that former APD officer Timothy Enlow hasn't been completely honest -- nor have those who have testified against him.
    • The Statesman ... Files a Motion

      The Statesman files a restraining order for the Enlow arbitration

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    Austin Police Department, APD, Timothy Enlow, arbitration hearing, APD policies, Texas Local Government Code

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