August 1, 2014

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Vermilion officer gets suspension for break-in, taking police car

VERMILION — A police officer who allegedly broke into his captain’s office and lied about the incident to police will not be fired, city officials decided last week.

Patrolman Dale Reising was accused of breaking into Vermilion police Capt. Mike Reinheimer’s office in February to steal a set of patrol car keys. He faces a 30-day unpaid suspension from the police force and must take four classes on ethics, liability, justice and report writing on his own time, according to a decision signed last week by Vermilion Mayor Eileen Bulan.

The Police Department started an investigation in February after Reinheimer found debris covering a cabinet near a wall in his office. According to police, Reising broke into the office through the ceiling during the weekend of Feb. 8, stole a set of patrol car keys and drove the car before replacing the keys in Reinheimer’s office.

Throughout the investigation, police said Reising lied repeatedly about the incident and denied that he broke into the office. When police found that Reising copied the patrol key at Ace Hardware, the patrolman finally admitted to taking the keys and copying them, a report said.

The case was turned over to Law Director Kenneth Stumphauzer, who worked with Bulan to make a decision about Reising’s fate.

On May 12, city officials, the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and Reising came to an agreement that the incident should be handled internally.

“(The theft) did not violate Reising’s sworn duty to protect and serve the citizens of the city of Vermilion,” they wrote in the decision.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com.Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.

  • Arietta Sullivan

    “He faces a 30-day unpaid suspension from the police force and must take four classes on ethics, liability, justice and report writing on his own time, according to a decision signed last week by Vermilion Mayor Eileen Bulan.”…..Shouldn’t these classes be taken,at the beginning,in Police Academy&again,from a department that is hiring an officer? i mean it would help them&their families,the police department&especially,the good citizens that needs a cops’ honesty,when they have to speak to one. not saying these classes could keep the integrity,in place,from the individual,(that’s held in a character) but pray it would help keep an officer honest.

  • Mark B

    If this would of been normal person this very same cop would of charged them with a Felony and they would be in JAIL

  • Otter

    Hmmmm, lets see, breaking and entering, theft (keys), grand theft auto (took the car and drove it) Then lied lied about it. But he didn’t violate his sworn duty to serve and protect????? I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t he break at least 4 laws?

    • Steven

      some of those are felonies, too…

  • Jeff

    Vermilion is getting as bad as Grafton !!!!

    Should of been fired on the spot. SMH

  • Tom

    This falls directly on the Mayor and the Law Director. Absolutely corrupt.

  • Bruce Tennant

    “Throughout the investigation, police said Reising lied repeatedly about the incident and denied that he broke into the office.” Really??? and his testimony is going to be admissible in court when he has to testify in a criminal case ????

  • John Elek

    You or I would be sitting in a jail cell. This is just absurd to let this guy off the hook. COPS SHOULD BE HELD TO HIGHER STANDARDS THAN THE CIVILIANS. Put him in jail take his badge and set an example so other crooked cops learn a lesson from him.

    • Otter

      They should at least be held to the same standards!

  • alreadyfedup1

    Pi$$ poor management I say. This character needs NOT to be a police officer period! The Mayor is fool.

  • TrollMajesty

    For those wondering, if you use recent case law in Ohio the most this officer could possibly be ultimately convicted of is Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (M1) and possibly criminal trespassing (M4). The reason is that he is an agent of the entity that owns the property (the cruiser and the building). He is normally allowed in the building during the course of his duties, it becomes trespassing when he forcefully enters a room that is locked and is known to specifically off limits to him. In line with the investigation however he could be criminally charged with obstructing justice (same degrees as the other crimes) for lying during a criminal investigation. All misdemeanors at best.

    For those of you who think that a citizen would have somehow got it worse, it’s not true unless the scenario is that a non-police employee citizen broke into the police station and took a cruiser. Apples to apples the charges would be the same, for example if you worked at a shipping company and you broke into your supervisor’s office and took a delivery truck. The company could choose to fire you, press charges, otherwise punish you or do nothing.

    A question I would have is what he did with the cruiser during the time he had it. Did he just use it for the shift or was it for a second job or personal use? That would change things dramatically if I was conducting the investigation.

    The big issue here is the untruthfulness. A good defense attorney from now on will bring this incident up to impeach the officer’s character during trials. The department will have serious headaches every time this officer is involved in a major case trial.

    The captain should be asking himself why this officer found it necessary to lie. Is it a culture that management is breeding where officers are so non-trusting and/or fearful of the brass that they risk their jobs to avoid admitting to stupid mistakes or is this officer just an inherent liar? Both are serious, but the latter needs immediate and permanent action. If an individual doesn’t have an ethical mindset by the time he or she is an adult, a few classes aren’t going to fix them.