INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A former IU Health police officer is calling for a policy change after being fired.
Damon Love was let go from his position for “knowingly stopping a vehicle on a city streetway not on IU Health’s property,” according to his termination paper.
In the early morning of June 22, Love says thinking with his conscience cost him his job when he spotted a suspected drunk driver downtown.
“I called the IU Health Police Department dispatch to let them know I had a possible 1055 driver,” said Love.
Love says he was fearful the driver would kill himself or others. He turned on his lights and pulled him over at 16th and Illinois.
“I did notice this driver was swerving into oncoming traffic as we followed him and stopping in the street and then taking off,” Love said.
Love pulled him over in an area away from IU Health’s property, which is a violation of hospital rules.
“That rule is silly because as you can see, it puts the police officer in a predicament that’s sworn to serve and protect. It didn’t say to only serve and protect on IU’s property,” Love said.
FOX59 obtained a copy of the officer and dispatch handbook, which says in part “IU Health Officers may stop a vehicle on their property if they spot a crime being committed; otherwise the dispatcher should contact IMPD and keep the visual on the vehicle.”
Love’s termination paper states he went against the hospital rules and regulations and was disobedient to the sergeant, which resulted in his firing.
The suspected drunk driver was never taken into custody.
According to Love’s termination, an IMPD officer stated no arrest could be made and to call the suspect a ride.
Love thinks the policy for IU Health police officers needs to change.
“Officers are going to be out grabbing food, or they are going to be at the CVS getting something to drink, and something is going to happen. They’re going to freeze because they are going to think for a moment, ‘Do I save my job, or do I save a life?’” Love said.
We reached out to IU Health for comment, but a spokesperson says they couldn’t provide specific information on employee matters.
Love says he’s filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.