Greece Police: Officer arrested and facing charges
Posted at: 10/05/2012 7:39 PM
| Updated at: 10/05/2012 11:15 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri | WHEC.com
Greece police department's K-9 officer has been arrested, charged and suspended with pay.
News10NBC is told Officer Sam Ross turned himself into the Monroe County sheriff's department on Friday. News10NBC attended a late news conference with the Greece police chief.
Office Ross is accused of giving alcohol to an 18-year-old male on 3 separate occasions.
Todd Baxter, Chief of Greece Police, told News10NBC:
The investigation into Ross started in early September after a Greece police officer learned Ross may have been involved with criminal behavior.
After an investigation and talking with the Monroe County district attorney the case was turned over to the Monroe County sheriff's office.
31-year-old Sam Ross was charged on Friday with 3 counts of unlawfully dealing with a minor, all misdemeanors. Also he was suspended with pay from his position at the department.
The Chief says, "He was suspended by myself. He did turn over his weapons and identification and things like that. He is in a unique situation as you mentioned being a k-9 handler and the dog is a unique tool that belongs to the police department. We did leave the dog in his possession with the order it must stay on the premise, at his house. Obviously it wont be used for a K-9 function."
Ross is a 7 year vet of the Greece police department and has been the K-9 handler for the past year.
Chief Baxter told News10NBC he spearheaded bringing the k-9 unit to the department, and to the chief's knowledge Ross has never been in any trouble since he has been with the department.
Chief Baxter also told News10NBC he is doing an internal investigation.
"The Greece police of all departments relies on trust, trust in the community. We of all places are trying to build back that trust. A mistake made like this, or potential mistake, just for the integrity of the police department, got to make sure we do it right and by the book. And that's how we do it. We don't the i's and cross the t's. We launched and internal investigation, we consulted with the district attorney and they agreed there is potential criminality here, so we handed it over to a whole other agency so it is as transparent as possible."
Chief Baxter also said Ross and the 18-year-old male meet on social media and began hanging out. He would not say what their relationship was, or where the alleged acts of Ross giving the teen alcohol took place, other than to say it happened in Irondequoit.
The Chief says the internal investigation should be completed in the next few days.