Several Valley news stations have shown the above photo of a Tempe cop texting while driving his police motorcycle on a highway, although it appears the police department was not very forthcoming with the identity of the officer.
New Times will let the cat out of the bag here, and tell you this is 14-year veteran Officer Heith Fink.
(Tempe PD confirmed his identity.)
The guy who took the picture, Justin Argall, claimed to news outlets and on Facebook that the cop was going more than 80 mph on U.S. 60 (where 65 mph is the posted speed limit) and was texting for a few miles. That probably means he was going about 80 while trying to operate his camera phone, but, hey, he's not a cop.
The Tempe PD says Fink has been disciplined for this incident and says that the only other discipline Fink has gotten in the past three years was just a verbal reprimand.
Here's the official statement from the Tempe PD:
Once this matter was brought to our attention we identified the officer. The officer has been disciplined and this incident is now considered closed.
The Tempe Police Department does not condone this type of distracted driving. In fact, we have instituted specific policies prohibiting texting while operating police vehicles. Texting while driving or performing any activities that take away attention from the driving task are extremely dangerous and should be avoided whenever possible.
Training will be provided to reduce the chance of our officers putting themselves in similar dangerous situations in the future.
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