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Cops and Courts

Vermilion officer suspended for sleeping on job

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VERMILION — A police officer is back on the force after losing 20 days of work for sleeping on the job.

Patrolman Nick Forrider was found sleeping in his cruiser at Vermilion Elementary School by Detective Steve Kopniske, the acting officer in charge.

An investigation was conducted by Capt. James Graham, who concluded Forrider should be disciplined and a predisciplinary hearing was held Aug. 3, at which Forrider agreed his actions were “inconsistent” with his responsibilities.

Forrider was suspended 160 work hours — or 20 days — without pay. The suspension started Aug. 13 and Forrider is now back on the force, Chief Chris Hartung said.

Forrider also was required to sign a “last chance” agreement and undergo a sleep study, because it was not the first time he was accused of sleeping on the job. He has been on the force just over four years.

Forrider was found sleeping on duty July 24, 2016. That time he was suspended five days, which was amended to two days off work, “taking into consideration personal issues that contributed to the incident,” Hartung said, declining to list the issues.

The rest of the suspension for the incident was held in abeyance pending no further violations for 12 months.

According to the agreement Forrider signed, Hartung addressed “allegations of sleeping on duty” with Forrester again April 24 and has “multiple disciplinary infractions on his record.”

It outlines the department’s option to fire Forrider if he commits any other serious violations within the next 18 months.

Contact Rini Jeffers at rinijeffers@gmail.com.
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