The Aurora Police Department has announced the resignation of Officer Bradley Bickett in the wake of an ultra-embarrassing incident.
Bickett and a fellow cop are accused of treating a trip to the funeral of a murdered policeman as an excuse for an alcohol-fueled, rubber-burning squad-car joy ride.
On August 10, as the Denver Post reported, Bickett and Officer Gerard Kirby were driving to services for Rapid City, South Dakota officer Nick Armstrong, who died along with another policeman after a traffic stop erupted in gunfire on August 2.
Bickett was behind the wheel of a police car, and according to reports from the Goshen County, Wyoming, sheriff's office, he was using all the tools at his disposal to make good time, allegedly speeding and using the vehicle's emergency lights to help them blow past traffic. On top of that, the Wyoming force received complaints about trash being tossed out the squad car's window.
When the pair were pulled over near the community of Torrington, the Wyoming law enforcers found a cooler full of beer in the squad car and smelled liquor on Bickett's breath. He registered a .07 blood alcohol content reading -- not high enough to be legally drunk, but well into the driving-impaired category. He was cited for DWI as well as speeding, for exceeding a forty mile-per-hour speed limit by seventeen MPH. Kirby, meanwhile, was ticketed for littering.
Both Bickett and Kirby were immediately put on what's termed "restricted" duty pending an Aurora PD investigation. But Bickett, a veteran of 31 years on the force, decided to step down rather than fight the allegations. In a statement, he says, "I offer my most sincere apologies to the Aurora Police Department, the citizens of Aurora, and all of law enforcement for this incident."
Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates calls Bickett's resignation "the honorable choice." In his view, "he has accepted responsibility. His apology will mean a great deal to his colleagues in the Department and will help put this unfortunate event behind us."
Not entirely. The second officer involved in the Wyoming incident, Jerald Kirby, remains on restricted duty and could face future disciplinary action.
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Here's a larger look at Bickett's mug shot.
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