Sheriff: No Special Treatment in Traffic Stop of Fredericksburg Police Captain

"The[se] issues were not determined to have impaired the driver enough to warrant an arrest," Sheriff Roger Harris said.

Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office.
Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office.
The Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office has completed its investigation into the Nov. 24 traffic stop of an off-duty City of Fredericksburg Police Captain, concluding there was no wrong doing.

Capt. Rick Pennock, a 29-year-veteran of the force, was pulled over for a "presumptive DUI," said officials with the Fredericksburg Police Department.  No charges were filed and Pennock was driven home from the stop by a co-worker who was off-duty at the time.

Following an internal investigation into the event, Pennock was reassigned Dec. 7, transferred from his position commanding the department's patrol division to commander of the detective division.

The Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office at that time told Fredericksburg Patch their investigation was ongoing. 

Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Capt. Jeff Pearce today released the following statement on behalf of Sheriff Roger Harris.

"On November 23, 2013 a patrol Deputy with the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for suspicion of DUI as the cause for the stop.  The driver, who was identified as an off duty member of the Fredericksburg Police Department, was cooperative and engaged in conversation with the Deputy as is normal during a traffic related investigation.  During the ensuing conversation and observations of the driver, the Deputy determined that there were other circumstances surrounding the issue of the man’s driving.   These issues were not determined to have impaired the driver enough to warrant an arrest. 

"At the driver’s request, though he was not required to do so, a call was made to have someone drive him to his residence.  The Deputy was satisfied that the matter was resolved, and no further action was taken. 

"Over the past two years, in Spotsylvania County, there were 1,027 calls for service or interactions by Deputies for suspicion of DUI.  Of that number, 270 of these contacts resulted in arrests for DUI. 

“We take driving under the influence very seriously and we have a zero tolerance policy for anyone caught driving in such a manner.  We don’t give breaks to anyone, regardless of their status, position or relationship.

"In this situation, two separate law enforcement agencies have reviewed the facts surrounding this action and no wrong doing was found to have occurred.  Deputies would have responded in exactly the same manner with anyone, as demonstrated by the facts and historical statistical documentation."  

See: Fredericksburg Police Captain Reassigned After Internal Investigation

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jonathan Smith January 12, 2014 at 12:58 AM
Well said Ronald. I agree with Everything you said, but I do believe there is a misunderstanding. You are correct in saying that the Captian did not lose rank but he was "relieved" (FredericksburgPD's words) from his patrol command. Kitty's argument was that he was transferred to another command but any Veteran know what "relieved" means. I personally believe that it would be so FredPD has plausable deniability. If the S@$T ever hits the fan FredPD can say they repremanded him by "relieving" him of one of his duties concurrently with this issue. I do wish to note that the word PROMOTION wasn't used.... it was "Relieved".
jonathan Smith January 12, 2014 at 01:12 AM
And doesn't the Spotsy deputy have a dash camera?! And isn't that info public record? I personally think it's time to consider a freedom of Information request to the commonwealths attorney, the Sherriff's office and possibly filing a lawsuit on the peoples behalf that will force the Sherriff's dept to actually enforce the standards on themselves that they wish to uphold the taxpayers to. No one is above the law.
jonathan Smith January 12, 2014 at 11:03 AM
After rereading the comments I have noticed that the Free Lance Star has CENSORED at least one of my post! I don't know why but It does make me wonder what is the purpose?!?! It had nothing profanic or offensive. Basically it was me replying that I had never been arrested to Kitty! Why delete that?
Steve michaels January 16, 2014 at 08:56 PM
Smith, it is definitely odd that it took so long to get an answer. However, I beleive the in car camera should be foia since its not part of an on going investigation and the sheriff's office has them. Susan never said if she got the info she requested and if she did does she have the video. The county captain's release did not answer a lot
jonathan Smith January 16, 2014 at 09:47 PM
Steve, I agree and I will be filing a FOIA request. I do find it VERY disturbing (as should every citizen) that there was cause to pull him over and investigate and he was then released to "a friends" custody because Spotsy determined without a bac or breathalyzer that he was oakie dokie Or... He was pulled over WITHOUT any suspicion and released. Hmmmmmmm then there is little or no movement on a response until Spotsy sheriff is prompted by the media. Sounds fishy to me. Roger Harris should defiantly reopen this before it cost him. Especially since he ran on the "I am not a good ol boy" platform!


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