Skip to main content

Police investigation should be completed

Published July 19. 2014 09:00AM

Dear Editor,

I have a comment on your column about the fatal crash involving the Nesquehoning police officer.

I'm a retired 28-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department. My career spanned parts of four decades, from the mid-'60s through the mid-'90s, and 10 of those years were spent in the traffic division as a supervisor of accident investigation/reconstruction specialists.

We investigated those accidents that required extra-special training and expertise fatal accidents and those involving felonies, serious injuries or police personnel. While a traffic division sergeant, I also held a position for three years in which I administratively investigated all traffic collisions involving on-duty police personnel.

I also instructed cadets at the San Diego Police Academy on moral and legal obligations while behind the wheel of a police vehicle.

So my comments here are based on firsthand personal and professional experience.

It does not take 60 days to complete a relatively simple and straightforward two-car traffic collision investigation such as the one involving the Nesquehoning police officer.

There is no need to wait for lab toxicology test results (unless there's a suspicion the officer was impaired while on duty), and the Crown Vic's on-board black box will have confirmed the speed officer Steven Homanko was traveling at the point of impact.

A qualified and competent accident investigator should have finished this investigation in a week at the most.

Take another week to have the reports reviewed by senior staff, and the completed investigation should have been sitting on the District Attorney's desk along with appropriate recommendations in less than three weeks. Most professional police organizations in this country would recognize the need for urgency in a fatal traffic accident involving police personnel.

You state in your column there's no intentional delay, but I'd bet otherwise.

And I'm also not so sure the investigation is being handled "professionally," based in part on what we saw during the investigation into the 2009 fatal accident involving the late state Sen. Jim Rhoades in Chestnuthill Township.

In the 13 years since my wife and I moved here, I've been dismayed and disappointed at the demonstrated lack of professionalism, training and accountability on the part of the state police.

What I find even more troublesome in my adopted state is the ready acceptance of sloppy and unprofessional police work by the general populace.


L. Ernie Foucault


Classified Ads

Event Calendar


October 2017


Upcoming Events

Twitter Feed


STEP-Up Tamaqua to meet Monday

40.798347, -75.970851

STEP-Up Tamaqua will...

Man faces charges for shooting his dog

40.8014826, -75.6101867

Charges have been fi...

Extension hosts annual dinner

40.7986942, -75.8104747

The Carbon County Ex...

Reader Photo Galleries