An Albany police officer has been arrested and suspended following an early morning crash in Lincoln Park.
5 a.m. Wednesday Albany Police officers, tipped off by a 911 call, arrived at the scene of an unoccupied car that had crashed into a utility pole.
Shortly after, officers stopped one of their own, Shawn Dixon, along the 100 block of State Street. They say Dixon, who was off-duty, showed signs of intoxication. He was identified as the driver.
Acting Albany Police Chief Bob Sears called a news conference just before midday: "He was subsequently taken into custody at a business over on State Street and brought down to the police station and was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, leaving the scene of a property damage auto accident, criminal mischief, recklessly causing damage greater than $2,500 and failing to stay in a single lane. He is suspended pending a further outcome by our office of professional standards and where a complete and thorough investigation is underway."
According to published reports, the crash resulted in a power outage and $20,000 in damage to electrical equipment. National Grid spokesman Nate Stone: "We received a call about 5 o'clock this morning that there had been damage to part of our infrastructure down by Lincoln Park. We did have damage to our switch gear. It took our crews about three-and-a half hours to get everyone back up. It affected about 35 customers."
Stone says repairs have been completed.
Police have not determined Dixon's blood alcohol content or where he had been prior to the crash. Sears said "Anytime something like this happens, it really tears at the fabric of what police officers do every day. And you know we take our oath very serious. And when someone acts in a manner that does not reflect what we want everyone to reflect, it does tarnish the badge a little bit and we are definitely in a position where we want to try to make sure we get to the bottom of this and make sure it doesn't happen again."
It is unclear if Dixon is a candidate for alcohol addiction therapy of even if his career can be spared.
Dixon joined the Albany police force in July 2015. He returned to duty in October after having been disciplined for leaving the scene of an accident in the city in May where he ran a red light and struck another vehicle. His bumper and license plate were left behind. In August he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of leaving the scene of an accident and paid a small fine. Dixon was not on-duty at the time of either incident.