Durant officer to remain on force after suspected drunk driving crash

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DURANT, OK -- A Durant Police Officer, involved in a suspected drunk driving accident last year, will keep his job. The police chief announced the decision Monday. News 12 spoke with local residents who are divided when it comes to the officer's future with the force.

Back in October, The Oklahoma Highway Patrol responded to an accident on Highway 91, west of Achille. The vehicle was owned by Brandon Carbaugh who was off-duty at the time.

OHP troopers say a toxicology report showed his blood alcohol level was more than one and a half times the legal limit, but Assistant District Attorney Erik Johnson told us in May that Carbaugh was not in the vehicle when the trooper made contact with him and the DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving.

Some residents we spoke with say it is unfair Carbaugh gets to keep his job as an officer of the law.

"When he goes out and breaks the law his self, especially one of the laws that is, to me detrimental to lives in our community, and he's breaking that law, how do we trust him to uphold that law," local resident James Gregory asked.

"I don't think it's right for him to get away with it. I mean it's just the simple fact it's a law you shouldn't break it, if you're a cop you should know your job. You shouldn't break your own laws," Kevin Elkins said

Other residents, who did not want to go on camera, say Carbaugh deserves a second chance and that they are happy he gets to keep his job.

In a statement released Monday, Durant Police Chief Durward Cook state, "Officer Brandon Carbaugh is still and will remain employed with the Durant Police Department. Officer Carbaugh was a valuable and productive employee prior to the incident of October 14th, 2013. In my opinion it is appropriate to take his record into consideration. I cannot discuss specifics actions related to employee and personnel matters. Officer Carbaugh and the Police Department have taken appropriate action within Durant Police Department policy to ensure that this incident is not repeated in the future. I would like to thank each person who supported the Department and its officers during this difficult time."