LPD officer cited, placed on modified duty after buying alcohol for minor

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LINCOLN, Neb. — A Lincoln Police officer has been cited and placed on modified duty for procuring alcohol for a minor.

On Tuesday, Lancaster County Sheriff’s Investigators cited 26-year-old Scott Bierle for procuring alcohol for a minor and 19-year-old Mercedees Smith for minor in possession of alcohol.

Bierle is a Lincoln Police officer. Bierle and Smith are in a dating relationship, LSO said in a news release.

On December 21, LSO said Lincoln Police Chief Bliemeister contacted Sheriff Wagner with information a Lincoln Police officer may have provided alcohol to a minor and asked if the Sheriff’s Office would conduct an investigation into the potential criminal violation while the Lincoln Police Department conducted their internal investigation.

The criminal investigation revealed off-duty Lincoln Police officers gathered at a local bar on December 16, 2018. During that gathering, Bierle purchased alcohol for Smith.

LSO said there is no indication other Lincoln Police officers who were present were responsible for any criminal violations. There is also no indication Smith was intoxicated or was subjected to any unwelcome conduct.

Bierle has since been placed on modified duty.

Bierle and Smith are scheduled to appear in Lancaster County Court February 13, 2019.

According to LPD's website, Bierle joined the department in December of 2015.

Chief Bliemeister later released a statement, saying it was a cooperative effort between LPD and LSO.

"This investigation began when Lincoln Police officers came forward with information of a potential criminal violation by a co-worker, at a Lincoln bar where we have enforcement responsibilities. The incident occurred while other off-duty Lincoln Police employees were at the same event. Based on the combination of those factors and my past practice, I asked Sheriff Wagner to have his Office investigate the allegations."

"The employees that brought the information forward, did what is right and what is expected for members of the law enforcement profession. "

Bliemeister also said an internal affairs investigation began after the citations were issued, and added, "The criminal justice system and our internal processes will continue, ultimately determining responsibility for actions in contrast the mission and values of our agency."