BYLINE: Lindsey Branwall -
Village of Oregon, WI
Five months after an Oregon Police Lieutenant died, the department is releasing details on an investigation involving the late Karey Clark.
Following his death, inconsistencies were noticed in the evidence room and a public drug disposal unit called, MedDrop. Pills were also found in Clark's office.
It has never been confirmed whether Clark's death was the result of drugs.
This led to an internal investigation, and the Village of Oregon requested assistance Department of Justice Investigation.
During his time with the department, Clark had almost exclusive access to the evidence room and MedDrop box. The investigation found he was the only person taking the drugs. Policies with both have now changed.
The department worked with other agencies to make these changes. Access and maintenance of the evidence room and the MedDrop box is now different, and they're now taking inventory of the evidence room.
MedDrop is a Safe Communities of Madison-Dane County initiative. They released a statement saying this was an "unfortunate, yet isolated incident."
"Specific procedures are in place for proper collection by law enforcement officers at each location to prevent mishandling, and we rely on our partnerships with law enforcement to fully enforce the procedures..." said Cheryl Wittke of Safe Communities in a statement.
The police chief says this has been the most challenging time for the department in recent memory.
"The culmination of the investigation involving the late Karey Clark clearly demonstrates the frailties of human beings and the power of addiction. Mr. Clark had to be well aware that he was engaging in criminal behavior that would have likely led to his arrest and prosecution... He was a man that spent most his life engaged in helping others, yet was unable to help himself. Remember the man for his life, not for how it ended," said acting Chief Dale Burke in a statement.
A statement from the village says:
"The Village Board also believes it is important for the public to know that employees of the Police Department promptly brought their concerns to the attention of the chief Burke and those concerns were addressed and investigated immediately, thoroughly, and effectively in the interest of the village and the taxpayers ... The Village, members of the community, and law enforcement professionals throughout the area remain truly saddened by lieutenant Clark's passing."
The Department of Justice investigation is still ongoing.
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