DARIEN, Conn. -- Darien Police Chief Duane Lovello called the allegations against two Darien officers arrested in a shooting incident "disturbing" and said that both have been placed on leave pending an internal investigation.
Officers James Martin and Daniel Ehret were arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree breach of peace and unlawful discharge of a firearm. The arrest stems from an incident that occurred on Saturday, Aug. 1 when state police said that an unoccupied vehicle owned by Martin sustained numerous gunshots to its exterior while parked in his driveway.
In a statement released Tuesday night, Lovello said that he was notified of an investigation into the incident during the early hours of Aug. 1. He said that Martin and Ehret, both 10-year veterans of the department, were off-duty at the time. The department turned over investigation of the incident to the state police after consulting with the State's Attorney, Lovello said.
"The allegations leading to the arrests are disturbing. I cannot conceive of anything that would lead police officers to do something so profoundly dangerous and wholly irresponsible. This conduct is intolerable and does not reflect the professional values or the ethical, responsible, and moral conduct we demand of Darien police officers and their duty to the public we serve," Lovello said.
Both Martin and Ehret were placed on administrative leave with pay the day of the incident, Lovello said. He said that a separate internal investigation will take place and the findings of that investigation will form the basis of any disciplinary actions that are taken.
"Public confidence in a law enforcement agency's professionalism, integrity and professional ability are among the most important assets of a police department. Throughout its 90-year history, the Darien Police Department has worked hard to earn and maintain that public confidence. We will do what is necessary to ensure that the public remains confident in the Darien Police Department's ability to effectively deal with this crisis in a manner that reflects the very high standards that we as an organization demand and the public has every right to expect."
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