Target: Chief Linda Pillo, Head of Bellevue Police Department
Goal: Discipline Officer Doug Brennan for failing to arrest a fellow officer driving drunk
It is commonly understood within the law enforcement community that a police offer will have another police officer’s back. This policy is ethically dubious and can also be incredibly dangerous, as demonstrated recently by two Washington State police officers.
Recently, officer Doug Brennan of Bellevue Washington noticed his coworker swerving recklessly on the interstate. He recognized both his fellow officer’s private vehicle and his fellow officer himself behind the wheel. When he approached the vehicle, he immediately assessed that Police Officer Andrew A. Hanke was drunk.
Andrew A. Hanke was off duty during this incident. But that is no excuse for his behavior. Driving Under the Influence is a serious offense and rightfully so. While no one intends to hurt someone else while driving intoxicated, it can happen in the blink of an eye and it can have devastating consequences for the victims.
Instead of arresting Andrew A. Hanke on the spot, Officer Doug Brennan called Hanke’s wife to take him home. While Brennan eventually told his superiors what happened and Hanke is being prosecuted for his crime, Brennan needs to be held responsible for the lack of judgment he showed on the scene. It does not matter if the police officer who stops a drunk driver knows the person behind the wheel. Anyone driving while intoxicated is violating a serious law and should be arrested immediately.
Demand Brennan be disciplined for his lack of judgement. Tell the Bellevue Police Department that it is not ethical to look the other way for anyone driving under the influence, even one of their own, and that anyone who aids a drunk driver should be considered an accessory.
Dear Chief Linda Pillo,
Driving Under the Influence is a serious crime. Anyone who is caught committing this crime should immediately be arrested and processed according to the law. Furthermore, anyone who abets a drunk driver or otherwise helps them avoid penalties should be considered an accessory to this crime. It does not matter if the person behind the wheel is a police officer. No one is above the law, especially when it comes to drunk driving, a crime that can have horrific results.
Yet that is exactly what one of your own did recently. Bellevue Police Officer Doug Brennan stopped fellow Police Officer Andrew A. Hanke and noticed that he was unquestionably drunk. But instead of arresting him, he called Hanke’s wife. Would this be tolerated if Hanke was anyone other than a police officer? No. Brennan’s behavior was out of line and he should face disciplinary action for failing to arrest someone who was obviously driving while intoxicated.
We know that it is common for police officers to cover for each other occasionally, but please do not tolerate one of your officers helping cover up another officer’s criminal activity. Show us that you are committed to running a police department on the values of honesty, integrity, and public safety. Discipline Police Officer Doug Brennan.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Benchill via Wikimedia