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City announces internal investigation in officer-involved crash

Ferndale City Hall (2019). File photo - Whatcom News

FERNDALE, Wash. — After today’s news of charges having been filed as a result of an injury crash involving a Ferndale Police Lieutenant and a civilian, the City of Ferndale issued a press release late today, November 27th.

The press release says Ferndale Police Lieutenant William “Bill” Hatchett is on administrative leave “as he awaits due process by the courts.” In addition, an internal administrative investigation is being conducted by the City. Its goal is to determine if rules of conduct, policies or procedures were violated.

It is standard procedure to initiate an internal investigation pending the completion of a criminal investigation. The internal investigation is not, however, dependent on the criminal investigation or the outcome of any criminal charges.  Rather, it is to examine whether the officer complied with the rules of conduct and professionalism established by the Ferndale PD to direct all employees in carrying out their duties and responsibilities.

Ferndale Police Chief Kevin Turner is quoted as follows in the press release.

“We place a high value on the community’s trust, and we will continue to work every day to earn and maintain that trust. Our staff are dedicated to the welfare and safety of our community and perform their duties every day with distinction and professionalism. We thank Washington State Patrol Chief Batiste and his staff for their assistance in conducting the accident investigation.”

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