Wmspt Police Chief Foresman’s Statement about fatal accident involving a Wmpt Police Officer
Chief Foresman’s Statement
This is probably the most difficult situation I have had to deal with during my time as Chief of Police. I did not comment up to this point due to not having all the facts and there being an ongoing investigation.
Yesterday my staff and I met with our District Attorney Eric Linhardt. We were provided with the details gathered from the very thorough Pennsylvania State Police accident investigation.
Unfortunately this is a tragic situation that involved a terrible error in judgment by one of my Officers. The speed and manner at which Officer Deprenda operated his patrol vehicle on East Third Street was unacceptable based on the circumstances at hand and the facts discovered through the State Police’s investigation.
The next step for the City is to review Officer Deprenda’s actions to determine if they violated department policies and procedures. This internal investigation will be conducted expeditiously but also fairly so that the appropriate decision is made regarding any discipline and Officer Deprenda is provided appropriate legally required due process. Once again we ask that people be patient and support us in this process.
I am saddened that Officer Dependra’s error in judgment resulted in the loss of life and in criminal charges being filed. The City of Williamsport trains all of its officers to take appropriate law enforcement action while minimizing any risks to public safety. As a Department we will be taking all appropriate steps to ensure that a tragedy such as this is never repeated and that any appropriate discipline is instituted after completion of the City’s investigation.