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A former Monroe police officer is under a criminal investigation after confessing to using suspected methamphetamine, which was reportedly stolen from another agency.  According to Chief Quentin Holmes, K-9 Officer Kenneth Johnson resigned from his position after he admitted to having suspected methamphetamine in his system.  “It’s with disappointment that I have to announce this,” Holmes said. “Officer Johnson was involved in a traffic accident on Aug. 27.”

 Holmes said Johnson was involved in the accident in the 5200 block of DeSiard Street while en route to a call. He said the accident was not Johnson’s fault.  All Monroe police officers submit a urine analysis after any accident, Holmes said. Because the analysis would test positive for methamphetamine, Holmes said Johnson confessed Aug. 29.

 “Johnson was placed on administrative leave, with pay, later that day,” Holmes said. “While the internal investigation began.”

 Holmes said Johnson was then to be placed on leave without pay after a criminal investigation was initiated. However, Johnson resigned from the department Wednesday afternoon rather than placed on leave.   “The criminal investigation will continue,” Holmes said.

 According to Holmes, Johnson came into contact with suspected methampetamine while training his K-9 unit, Mies.  “When we train our K-9 units, we use actual narcotics,” Holmes said. “These narcotics are assigned out from either our Metro Narcotics Unit or the Drug Enforcement Agency.”   Holmes said the narcotics are placed in sealed containers and placed in special devices for the dogs to learn.   “The container is such that the officer should not have to come into contact with the narcotic,” Holmes said. He said in the midst of training, Johnson told him his finger came into contact with the narcotics.  “The investigation is ongoing, but either the narcotic spilled out of the package or he opened it,” Holmes said. “He told me he tasted it, then said he (used the narcotic) four or five times.”

 Holmes said Johnson told his supervisor the narcotic addicted him quickly.  Once the criminal investigation is complete, Johnson could be brought up on charges of malfeasance in officer, theft and possession of methamphetamine.   Holmes said Johnson was hired by the department in 2008 and received at least one commendation and showed remorse when he resigned earlier in the day.  “He was always very respectful,” Holmes said. “He was very sorrowful for what he did.”

 Holmes said Mies passed away Sunday night, but the K-9 unit’s death was not believed to be in connection to Johnson’s use of suspected methamphetamine.  “At this time, we believe it to be a coincidence, nothing more,” Holmes said. He said the dog’s remains were sent to LSU for an autopsy.   Holmes said he was not pleased with Johnson’s actions, but said authority figures must not skirt the laws.

 “Law enforcement personnel should be held to a higher standard,” Holmes said. “We all took an oath to do our jobs. It’s our responsibility to adhere to that oath.”



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