A Garden City police officer has been charged with three misdemeanors stemming from a self-reported hunting violation.
On Oct. 27, Tysend Faulkner, an officer of four years, misidentified, shot and killed a mule deer near White Bird, in Idaho County, while possessing a white-tailed deer tag. According to Garden City Police Chief Rick Allen, someone in the area then contacted Faulkner and told him he was on private property.
Faulkner waited for and cooperated with Idaho Department of Fish and Game officers, Allen said. The violation happened on a Friday; the following Monday, Oct. 30, Faulkner was charged with misdemeanors related to the improper tag and to trespassing on private property.
His next scheduled hearing in Grangeville is a pretrial on Dec. 19.
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Faulkner is also the focus of an internal investigation, Allen said. Faulkner is cooperating with both investigations, and meanwhile remains on active duty. These appear to be his first criminal violations of any sort in Idaho. Allen said he has never faced any sort of internal discipline for anything at the Garden City department, and pointed out commendations Faulkner has received in his time there.
Most of Allen’s comments came through a written statement, in which he said his office’s investigation is a personnel matter that he normally would not speak in detail on. Faulkner agreed to share some of the details through Allen, the chief said, and he noted the officer does not expect any preferential treatment.
“We take all claims of employee misconduct both on and off duty, seriously and thoroughly investigate all allegations. We hold our officers to highest of standards and expect compliance with all laws to include Fish and Game,” Allen said in his news release. “Failure to adhere to our high standards can and do result in serious adverse employment action and sanctions. Law enforcement is one of the few careers in which off-duty actions and mistakes can result in serious sanctions not only with the courts but with the department as well.
“Although we cannot legally discuss the specifics of personnel actions, I can assure you that this incident is being taken serious and is being investigated. The investigation and any potential sanctions will be handled in accordance with our department policy.”