The Central Michigan University police officer caught playing Solitaire on his computer while on duty has been given a written reprimand.
Officer Carl Williams was caught playing the game when a student was nearly hit by a vehicle, CMU Police Chief Bill Yeagley confirmed to Central Michigan Life on Thursday.
“The internal review by CMU Police has determined that a Facebook post earlier this week alleging that an officer was playing solitaire while on duty is true,” Yeagley said. “We have addressed the situation and have taken corrective action to ensure it does not occur again.”
Yeagley said Williams was given a written reprimand, which is “not a good thing in a profession.”
“He was very apologetic, he understands that it was a bad decision and that he shouldn’t have been doing it,” Yeagley said. “There was no trying to defend it; he accepted fully that he should have not been doing it.”
Flushing senior Austin Boulter posted the photo of Williams on Facebook Tuesday, which has since been shared more than 900 times.
“I did not originally make this post to get a cop in trouble,” Boulter said. “I made it to see what people had to say over the subject matter. Maybe get a couple ‘likes’ on the photo here and there, maybe a couple sarcastic comments or possibly a debate about campus safety.”
Still, Boulter said he was surprised by the immediate impact the photo had.
“I’ve seen people ‘like’ the comments on it and share it,” Boulter said. “I was surprised how negative and insulting people were acting toward the CMU Police.”
Boulter said the near-accident occurred on West Preston Street while he was walking from Calkins Hall Monday. When Boulter first saw the police car, he said he figured there was not an officer in the vehicle and had been parked there simply to discourage traffic violations.
He said when he came back later Monday night, he saw another police officer on a computer but did not verify if it was the same officer because he was in a hurry.
Yeagley said Williams was not stationed there the entire time and had left the area, but he did return. Yeagley said they have had very few complaints or reports of near accidents and said people should contact the CMUPD if they are wary of a reckless driver.
“If someone is concerned about the driving of another person, then please call us with the license plate number, where and when it happened,” Yeagley said.
Boulter said student organizations have been discussing what the university can do to make campus a safer environment and wrote a statement about his experience.
“Maybe instead of CMU upping the police force they have already to put a stop to any upcoming crimes due to the recent robberies, they should simply re-evaluate who they have working for them,” Boulter said. “There are many different ways that CMU could increase the safety here, and our strong student body has a countless number of great ideas that CMU should take more seriously, instead of resorting to hiring more officers.”