Cayce DPS officer terminated after policy violations - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Cayce DPS officer terminated after policy violations

CAYCE, SC (WIS) -

A Cayce Department of Public Safety officer who was involved in a January traffic accident, was terminated for reasons unrelated to the incident after violating another agency policy in April.

Former officer Christian Hines was terminated from Cayce DPS on April 30 after showing "a pattern of poor decision making skills and lack of good judgment on various situations," according to a statement made by Lt. Brian Lorick in Hines' personnel file.

WIS first told you about Hines' termination two weeks ago after the state's Criminal Justice Academy released his file in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Since then, WIS obtained details on disciplinary action taken against Hines and what led to his termination after filing another FOIA request with Cayce DPS.

Hines was first involved in a traffic accident shortly after 8 p.m. Jan. 20 on Highway 302 near the on-ramp for Interstate 26 when his 2013 Ford Police Interceptor hit a 2001 Dodge minivan driven by Dia Doughty. Hines was going 106 mph with his blue lights and siren on when he hit Doughty, who was making a left turn in front of Hines' vehicle, according to a South Carolina Highway Patrol investigation.

Hines, Doughty, and a passenger in the minivan were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Hines was responding to a call for help from Springdale Police Department to assist in a traffic stop after a driver rammed into the front of the Springdale patrol car and left the scene.

Hines' highest recorded speed leading up to the accident was 110 mph, according to the Highway Patrol report. Once Hines' vehicle hit the minivan, power was lost in his vehicle, including the dash camera feed.

Highway Patrol's investigation showed Hines and Doughty both contributed to the accident, but no charges were filed. Hines was suspended for one day without pay in February for the accident.

"Even though PSO Hines was properly using lights and sirens and entered the intersection on a green light, he did not use ‘due care' or ‘slow to a safe speed' in order to avoid the collision," according to a Cayce DPS disciplinary form.

Following the one-day suspension, Hines was placed on a six-month probationary period and was told that any more policy violations could lead to termination.

That's what happened April 26 when Hines took the department's ATV on Heritage Park to acclimate himself to the trail, according to Cayce DPS reports. Hines got the ATV stuck and because of the heat of the day, Hines over-exerted himself and started to feel effects of heat exhaustion. After more than two hours on the trail, Hines called an off-duty officer and said that he was lost. That officer told Hines to call dispatch and the on-duty sergeant.

Public safety personnel found Hines and got him rehydrated. Officers went back to the trail and were able to find the ATV.

Because Hines failed to notify either of his immediate supervisors or the on-duty supervisor when the ATV got stuck, he violated department policy. Since Hines was on probation following January's car accident, Lorick recommended Hines be terminated.

Hines had been an officer with Cayce DPS since Oct. 28, 2010.

WIS tried to contact Hines, but has not heard from him as of this report.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

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