Sworn to serve and protect, suspended Indianapolis Metropolitan police officer David Bisard faces a much different challenge when he enters an Indiana prison later this year after his convictions for the role he played in a fatal drunk driving crash.
Bisard’s goal will be to serve his time and avoid the people in prison who might not be enthusiastic about a former police officer serving time alongside them.
“For example, a police officer, or, for example, for rape, for example, for child exploitation or sexual exploitation of a minor…these men tend to have more difficult times in prison,” said Department of Corrections Spokesman Doug Garrison. “They ask for protective custody.”
Of the nine drinking and driving charges for which Bisard was convicted, the most serious, causing death while testing above .15% blood alcohol content, carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.
The minimum is six years, and the term can’t be suspended, meaning Bisard will definitely serve prison time.
“We’ve had former police officers not want to be in protective custody,” said Garrison. “We’ve had several, including David Camm, who spent a lot of time when they were not in protective custody.”
Camm was released last month after being found not guilty in his third trial for killing his wife and children in 2000.
Myron Powell, a former IPD officer who was arrested in 1997 for killing a drug dealer has spent his entire term in the general population at Pendleton State Reformatory. He won’t get out before 2027.
Scott Spitler was one of DOC’s own…a corrections officer who went bad.
“Spitler, who helped in the escape of Sarah Pender, spent all of his time in protective custody,” said Garrison.
Once Bisard is sentenced Nov. 26 by Allen Superior Judge John Surbeck, he will be return to the Marion County Jail before being sent to the DOC’s Plainfield Diagnostic Center.
“They’re there generally for two to three weeks, getting acclimated to the prison system, taking medical tests, taking cognitive tests to see where they are within the educational system, what type of programming they might need or they might want while they’re with us.”
Garrison said an inmate like Bisard, who has been convicted of a drunk driving charge, might be sentenced to complete substance abuse counseling.
Surbeck can consider Bisard’s second DUI arrest in Lawrence last spring as an aggravating factor in sentencing. Bisard faces a hearing on that charge in mid-December.
If Bisard is sentenced to a medium-range term of approximately ten years or less, Garrison said he would be eligible to serve his term in a medium- or low-security facility.