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Four Off Raleigh Police Force; Two Others Suspended

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Four Raleigh police officers are off the force and two more have been suspended in the wake of an investigation into officers not responding to calls from the public, a spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department said Wednesday.

Raleigh police fired two officers, William Felt, 30, and Matthew Saylor, 25, after an investigation into allegations of not responding to calls after receiving tips from other department members, said police spokesman Jim Sughrue.

Two officers, Jason Lish, 32 and Christopher Mingia, 31, resigned last month and two other officers were suspended on June 10. They are Jay E. Krueger, 26, and Kevin A. O'Neal, whose age was not available. It is unclear when, or if, they will return to the force.

The officers said they were overworked and that, in some cases, they ignored calls that were not life-threatening.

One of the officers fired said he routinely doctored computer reports and lied about responding to calls. He classified the missed calls as minor -- loud music complaints from anonymous complainants or reports of trees in roadways.

Sughrue said that there were department policy violations and training concerns involved in the investigation. Police Chief Jane Perlov declined to discuss the investigation. But in a statement authorized by Perlov and released late Tuesday, police officials said the inquiry started this year after other officers tipped investigators.

Officers said the internal affairs investigation centered on an eight-member squad from District 21, which covers northwest Raleigh. It is the fourth-largest of the city's six districts.

Raleigh leaders acknowledge that police are very busy, but said that there is a lot less crime in District 21 than there is in other areas.

Police said they have issued a memo to all employees reminding them of ethical standards and performance expectations.

Supervisors have been reminded of their responsibility for leading and directing subordinates and that training issues discovered during the course of the investigation are being addressed, police said in a statement.

The Raleigh City Council has worked to expand the number of officers on the street over the past year. Twenty-one new officers were hired last year and this year's city budget funds 12 additional positions. There are now a total of 728 sworn officers on the force.

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