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As announced by the Village of Niles on April 27, 2021, there have been several internal investigations underway within the Niles Police Department. One situation that has been under investigation is a well being check conducted by the Niles Police Department at a restaurant drive-thru on February 28, 2021. As announced in a previous press release, internal investigations determined that there was no wrongdoing by the Niles Police Department in that case.
Another situation that has been under investigation is the Niles Police Department’s response to a crash on Howard Street on March 21, 2021. It was determined that members of the Niles Police Department handled this case inappropriately. After extensive review with legal counsel, the Village pursued discipline for three officers involved in the case based on violations of the Police Department’s internal policies, as announced in a previous press release. The two officers who were previously announced in the Village’s June 9 press release as being referred to the Niles Fire and Police Commission for discipline up to termination have elected an arbitration appeal in lieu of appearing before the Fire and Police Commission to appeal their discipline. Further, the March 21 incident has been referred to the State’s Attorney’s Office for review.
The Village of Niles is pursuing discipline for a fourth individual. Following internal investigations into the March 21 crash response and other recent events, Sergeant Nicholas Beyer has been referred to the Niles Fire and Police Commission for discipline up to termination for multiple violations of Niles Police Department Lexipol Policies. In the Police Department’s response to the March 21 crash, Beyer was found to have violated Niles Police Department Lexipol Policy 321.5.7(a)(b)(c). Additionally, in the Police Department’s response to an aggravated battery and theft of services on March 29, 2021, Beyer was found to have violated policy 321.5.1(b). After being placed on administrative leave for insubordination, Beyer engaged in threatening and dishonest correspondence, violating Niles Police Department Lexipol Policies 321.5.8(a) and 321.5.9(f)(h)
Further, the Village of Niles is disappointed in Beyer’s attempts – while on his administrative leave and still bound by the policies and protocols of the Department – to discredit the Niles Police Department and its leadership through misleading public claims about the February 28, 2021 drive-
thru incident, which ultimately was determined to have been handled appropriately, as well as his disparaging remarks about the Niles Police Department and Village of Niles officials to the media.
The Niles Police Department has responded to these situations with transparency and accountability. The Village and Police Department are disappointed in the actions of individuals within the Police Department who were found to have violated policies. However, upon learning of wrongdoing, the Niles Police Department responded appropriately, investigating the matters in a thorough manner, and holding the individuals accountable. Key to these investigations has been the patience of the public, and the Village’s caution to not share more details than appropriate, in order to ensure fair, accurate, and untainted investigations.
“From day one of my administration, I have placed emphasis on coming together as a community by building bridges not walls,” says Niles Mayor George D. Alpogianis. “Mishandling cases and publicly discrediting public servants and departments as well as the Village of Niles organization are not the way to accomplish this. I am disappointed in recent events, and sorry to the public that has had to watch this unfold, and I understand the uncertainty they must feel. However, I must reassure the public that – if there is going to be wrongdoing in the first place – this was an example of how a resulting internal investigation should be handled. Investigations were methodical and thorough, no one was unfairly targeted, and no one was unfairly protected. This accountability and this trust is what will bring us together as a closer Niles community. We have plenty of great police officers and they or the uniform will not be punished. Instead the ones who tarnish it should be.”
While the Village of Niles and the Niles Police Department consider the internal investigation into the March 21, 2021 crash response completed and closed, further details cannot be shared while further investigations into this and related matters remain ongoing or pending. The Village of Niles will provide updates on the outcomes of recent investigations when appropriate and when permissible under law. The Village of Niles and the Niles Police Department appreciate the patience of the public during the long and methodical process of investigating these cases thoroughly.
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