Lexington cop sat in parking garage for two straight shifts; only received written reprimand

Lexington, Ky–According to documents obtained from the Lexington Police Department, an officer received a written reprimand from Police Chief Lawrence Weathers last month after he spent two consecutive shifts parked in a parking garage and did not respond to a single call either night.

The cop, Officer Kevin Preston, reported “feeling ill” on the evenings of July 12 – 13, 2022. He had already turned his body camera off halfway through his shift once that week, on 7/11, and did not have has body camera activated in buffering mode for the entirety of his 7/12 and 7/13 shifts.

Speaking to the Council, Weathers said that “moving around may have aggravated” the officer’s illness. CM Hannah LeGris made an excellent attempt at keeping a straight face for that one:

Lexington Police Chief vouches for cop who slept in car for two straight shifts.

Preston was questioned about his fitness for duty for the investigation:

Concerning the fitness for duty, Officer Preston stated that although he was not feeling well, in the event he was needed to respond, he would have. He stated that his beat partners, Kennedy and Ray knew that he was not feeling well and told him to rest in the parking lot. Officer Preston emphasized that there was very little activity on these evenings and that he was not needed to respond to any incidents. Additionally, he pointed out that DED is not dispatched to calls, but instead are expected to ‘jump” any calls downtown, and that during these two shifts, his beat partners did not need any assistance. Officer Preston argued that he did not negatively impact the community or Department by sitting in the parking lot.

The complaint continues:

Officer Preston stated during the interview and his memo that he was not feeling well on July 12th and 13th. He stated that he came to work on those dates but that he stayed in his parked cruiser for the duration of those shifts. He says that although he was not actively patrolling, he was fit enough to respond to an incident if necessary. It was confirmed by his colleagues in DED that Officer Preston did, in fact, come to work and was downtown in his cruiser.

A review of calls for service on those dates and the activity ofDED units shows that the other officers working; Kennedy, Ray, Nguyen, Godbold, Zaglul, and Sgt. Ruebsam appear to have handled downtown incidents without having to rely on on-duty patrol units. Officer Preston does not deny that during those two shifts, he was stationary, and not patrolling.

Ofc. Preston received a written reprimand for his actions. The written reprimand was approved by the Urban County Council on October 13, 2022. Was his punishment appropriate? You decide. Read/download the full complaint below.