MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - An internal police investigation is underway after a FOX10 viewer submitted a picture to Report It.
The viewer took the photo after spotting several unrestrained children in a Mobile police officer's patrol oar.
The incident happened around 7:40 p.m. Friday, August 16 outside a convenience store in Irvington. According to the viewer, the off-duty police officer had five children in his patrol car.
The viewer said the incident put the children at risk, and showed disregard for laws the officer is sworn to uphold.
According to the viewer four children in the back seat were not wearing seat belts, and two appeared to be young enough to require car seats. There was a fifth child in the front of the patrol car.
When the off duty officer came out of the store, his children told him someone had taken their picture.
The viewer said, "He approached me and asked why I would be taking pictures, I told him that none of his children in the back were restrained, and him being an officer, knows better."
"The officer responded that he knew the law and that he writes more tickets for child restraints than anything," the viewer explained in the email.
"Well, who writes him his tickets?" the viewer wanted to know.
FOX10 News sent the pictures to police headquarters. They were forwarded to the police chief. This isn't the first time the chief has had to deal with this particular issue.
"Whatever you do, wherever you go, and whatever you say expect to be recorded. You expect that," Chief Micheal T. Williams said.
That was the warning Chief Williams gave to his officers in November 2012 after another picture surfaced showing an off duty officer's children in his patrol car.
In that instance the officer went to the store for a fountain drink. He had his three small children in the car.
"It would appear at this point that the officer used his vehicle in violation of our take home car policy," the chief said concerning the earlier incident.
FOX10 News received an email Monday saying the recent incident is under investigation. We still want to know what ultimately happened to the first officer, and what is the department doing to prevent this kind of apparent misuse of the vehicles in the future.
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