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Sept. 10 – The July arrest of a Soldotna police officer on expenses of assaulting a member of the family prompted the town’s police division to rethink the best way officers reply to calls involving members of the drive.

David Bauer, 50, has been on paid go away since expenses have been filed greater than seven weeks in the past, based on the Soldotna Police Division.

Bauer was arrested after a member of the family instructed Alaska State Troopers that he had dropped them off and put them in bother, based on an affidavit filed with misdemeanor expenses of fourth-degree assault. Bauer instructed the investigator — a sergeant assigned to the Alaska Bureau of Investigation, Main Crimes Unit in Soldotna — that he was drunk on the time, the affidavit mentioned.

Since 2019, Soldotna law enforcement officials have responded at the least twice to 911 calls from the identical tackle reporting abuse, based on an affidavit signed by Sgt. Austin McDonald. Bauer was not arrested or charged after both report.

Following Bauer’s arrest in July, Soldotna Police Chief Dale “Gene” Meek final month issued an interim directive requiring troopers to deal with any prison investigations by which a member of the division is both a sufferer or a suspect until there’s an pressing risk of hurt.

Meek mentioned final week that the division can be conducting a evaluate of previous incidents in addition to a bigger evaluate of the division’s insurance policies and procedures.

Soldotna is a small company with 14 individuals, which will increase the potential for bias, he mentioned. “On the face of it, there was no wrongdoing. They took the suitable motion on the time.”

Meek mentioned the interim steerage will stay in place till any future insurance policies are put into place.

Bauer served on the Soldotna police drive for about 20 years, he mentioned.

His lawyer didn’t reply to a request for remark this week.

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The incident was reported to troopers on July 18, based on the affidavit filed with the grievance. The assault was described as occurring throughout an ongoing dispute at residence with a number of members of the family current, the doc mentioned. Bauer instructed the investigating officer that he had been slapped, which “provoked a direct violent response” from him, which included slapping the opposite individual and knocking him to the bottom, McDonald wrote.

Throughout earlier responses to a 911 name on the similar tackle, law enforcement officials left the scene “and by no means created an incident, wrote a story, recorded notes, or recorded audio or picture proof,” McDonald mentioned within the affidavit.

Nevertheless, Meek mentioned Thursday that officers filed reviews however have been unable to right away see them for McDonald attributable to safety protections put in within the division’s reporting system. MacDonald was later capable of view the reviews however the unique assertion had already been made, Meek mentioned.

An Alaska Division of Public Security spokesman on Friday confirmed the chief’s account however mentioned he couldn’t present particulars due to the continuing investigation.

After his arrest, Bauer failed a required breath take a look at for alcohol whereas out on bail in early August and was charged with violating the phrases of his probation, based on a misdemeanor grievance. His legal professional instructed the decide the studying was attributable to mouthwash, based on a listening to report at Peninsula Clarion, which was the primary to report the arrest and its aftermath.

Meek mentioned he couldn’t present a timeline for the police division’s ongoing inner investigation.

The interim steerage issued by the police chief on Aug. 8 pertains to conditions by which “allegations of prison misconduct are made concerning a member of the Soldotna Police Division,” based on a duplicate of the doc.

Officers are directed to report back to the chief and refer the case to troopers if there isn’t any pressing risk of hurt. If there’s a risk of hurt, officers are instructed to take acceptable motion and full an investigation if an arrest is made. In these circumstances, the directive states that the chief will seek the advice of with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation “to find out whether or not extra or extra complete follow-up is required.”

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