On its first official day of existence, the Flordell Hills Police Department announced it has already had to lock up one of its own officers for stealing from the evidence room.
Jeremy Quate, 31, of Belleville, Illinois, is charged with stealing a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance after he told police he took prescription medicine from an evidence safe.
Quate was one of the six police officers scheduled to take over patrolling Flordell Hills, a St. Louis suburb with 822 residents within less than a square mile, on Wednesday. Instead, he's locked up and under investigation by the St. Louis County Police while the rest of the force hits the streets.
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Quate told county detectives that he took alprazolam, which treats panic and anxiety disorders, from the evidence safe in Flordell Hills on Friday, September 26. The next day, he was in a one-car accident, and officials found the pills -- for which he does not have a prescription -- in his possession.
"We had a flaw. We have corrected it. This will not happen again," the new police chief, Dennis Oglesby Sr., tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Oglesby also says Quate was an officer in Hillsdale and Pine Lawn before joining Flordell Hills.
"A background check was done, he checked out, and nobody gave him any bad references," Oglesby says.
Here's the report from police:
On Tuesday, September 30, 2014, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office issued charges count of Stealing a Controlled Substance and one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance. On Saturday, September 27, 2014, Jeremy Quate, a police officer with the City of Flordell Hills, was involved in a one car accident and transported to a local hospital. While at the hospital, Quate was found to be in possession of alprazolam, for which he did not have a prescription. An investigation was done by commanders with the Flordell Hills police department in regards to why Quate was in possession of the alprazolam and where he had gotten the prescription medication. The Flordell Hills Police Department then contacted the St. Louis County Police Division of Criminal Investigation and requested they handle the investigation. Quate admitted to detectives that he had taken the alprazolam from the Flordell Hills evidence safe on Friday, September 26, 2014.
Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at [email protected].