IMPD officer charged with drunk driving

Bryan Neal
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An IMPD officer has been charged with two counts of driving while intoxicated after investigators say he showed up for work drunk.

Police say Officer Bryan Neal had a blood alcohol content of .214. That's more than twice the legal limit to drive. Investigators say they found a partially-full bottle of rum in the car.

Neal has suspended without pay. His suspension comes as IMPD begins implementing a new program aimed at keeping a closer watch on officers and trying to keep them out of trouble.

Neal came to work late Friday night. According to other officers, he looked and smelled extremely intoxicated. A breathalyzer test confirmed their suspicions. His personnel file has two disciplinary entries blacked out, but also includes numerous commendations.

Neal's arrest comes as IMPD and other public service agencies put officers under closer scrutiny. Eyewitness News caught up with Public Safety Director Troy Riggs as he talked with firefighters returning to their station after treating victims of a domestic fight.

"They deal with an incredible amount of stress," Riggs said. "If they are having issues, we want to flag it before it is too late."

New computer software will begin tracking seemingly minor behavioral changes or problems.

"It is absolutely not about disciplinary . What we are hoping is that this will help us catch problems before they turn into discipline issues," said Major Dave Robinson, commander of IMPD's Professional Standards Division.

Speeding, rudeness and other common complaints that previously may have been ignored or undocumented will be collected and forwarded to supervisors under orders to investigate.

Riggs said there are two priorities.

"Number one, protect the integrity of the police department and that's extremely important," he said. "Number two, identify individuals that may be in need before they do something they can't recover from."

The new software program, called "Blue Team," is scheduled to go online late next month. IMPD is also promoting counseling and support programs some are independent of the department. Although there is an emphasis on officers getting help, Riggs warned, "If you cross the line, you are going to be dealt with quickly and harshly. We have rules for a reason."

There's be no decision made yet on Neal's future with IMPD.