Covington officer who arrested referees suspended, demoted
Chris Miller Reporting
Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz today announced the suspension and demotion to sergeant of Lt. Steven Short. Short is the Covington Police officer who arrested two high school football referees during a game in October.
Lentz said Short violated four department policies the night of the incident, including failure to seek alternatives to arresting the two game officials, failure to consider the circumstances surrounding the arrest, and failure to adhere to guidelines of professional conduct and responsibilities.
The referees posed no risk to the public or to officers, the chief noted in his report, the arrest brought undue negative media attention to the police department, and, the chief also wrote, "brought a terrific high school football game to a halt."
In addition to a suspension of ten working days, the chief demoted Short to the rank of sergeant, with the stipulation that he cannot seek promotion for 18 months.
"When an officer uses poor judgment, it can affect not only those involved in the incident, but also our agency's relationship with the community as a whole," reads a joint statement from Lentz and Covington Mayor Mike Cooper. "We value greatly the partnership between the citizens of Covington and our police department, and we want our residents to know that we are taking the steps necessary to regain their full confidence."
Short has the right to appeal the suspension to the civil service board.