Misconduct charge leads to termination of DP police officer


A Deer Park Police sergeant has been terminated and three others reprimanded following two separate incidents earlier this year.

According to a statement issued by the city of Deer Park, and confirmed by Deer Park Police Chief Bill Young, an internal investigation was launched following a complaint against now-former Sgt. Mark Longrigg. The complaint alleged that Longrigg made unprofessional comments regarding the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Included in this complaint was a separate allegation that Sgt. Longrigg had drawn his pistol and pointed it at the officer who was lodging the complaint. Young said this particular incident happened in March inside the Deer Park Police Headquarters.

“For reasons we still don’t know, a complaint was never filed about the pistol incident,” Young said. “We only became aware of it when he heard about it in the complaint about the comments Longrigg made.”

According to the statement from the city, the pistol incident happened when Longrigg was startled while in the sergeant’s area of the police building.

One other police sergeant was present when the incident occurred, and his statement supported the allegations of the complaining officer. During the internal affairs investigation, Sgt. Longrigg said he did not recall the incident and denied it occurred.

Young said both Longrigg and the officer who made the allegations were subjected to a polygraph test.

Young would not give the official results of the polygraph, but said that Longrigg was terminated, in part, for being “untruthful.”

“This department clearly holds its officers to a high degree of responsibility,” Young said. “This department holds its supervisors and administrators to an even higher degree.”

Young said the termination also came as a result of the department’s and city’s “zero tolerance stance on violence in the workplace.”

Young also said the comments Longrigg made would have resulted in a reprimand, but the reprimand would have fallen well short of termination.

Longrigg’s termination was effective Sept. 23. Following his termination, he filed an appeal. That appeal was denied by the city of Deer Park.

Greg Cagle, Longrigg’s attorney, would not give comments concerning his client’s details of the case.

“It’s not my intention to try this case in newspapers,” he said.

However, Cagle said Longrigg is “devastated” about losing his job.

“He’s been with the Deer Park Police Department for a long time and he wants his job back,” Cagle said. “Mark Longrigg loved his job. This whole process has been hard on him and his family. It’s very difficult for him on a personal level.”

As a result of losing his appeal, Longrigg has filed for an arbitration panel hearing. The three-person panel will consist of Jimmy Burke, who was selected by Deer Park city council, and one person selected by Longrigg and his attorney. The third person will be selected by the two other members of the arbitration board.

As of press time, Cagle had not said who they have selected as an arbitrator.

“The arbitration board can make a decision to uphold the termination, or they can make a decision to do virtually anything else,” Young said.

He would not speculate on the results of the arbitration board’s decision, but said that their decision would be final.

Following the internal affairs investigation, Young also suspended Sgts. John White and John Yettevich for failure to report the pistol incident. Sgt. Bryan Magee received a written reprimand, also for failure to report the incident.

“There was a violation of policy that occurred,” Young said. “Officers must report any misconduct to their administrators in a timely manner. That did not happen in this case.