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February 28, 2013

NAPD weighing officer’s reinstatement

Officer terminated in January could rejoin force

NEW ALBANY — A New Albany police officer fired Jan. 10 may be reinstated following an internal police investigation, New Albany Police Chief Sherri Knight said Wednesday.

Officer Phillip Houchin, 32, was terminated from the department by the New Albany Police Merit Commission, after working with the department since 2005.

“It was an issue related to his fitness for duty,” said Knight of Houchin’s termination. “I can’t tell you any more than that.”

Knight said Houchin has not been fully reinstated, but was placed on administrative leave Feb. 14 after he filed an appeal with the Merit Commission.

“He [Houchin] filed for appeal, and we have elected to withdraw the termination pending an investigation of some other issues that were raised,” Knight said.

Knight said Houchin’s future status as an NAPD officer is resting on the  outcome of the investigation.

“He is temporarily reinstated, pending a current investigation,” she said. “We want to look at the results of the investigation, and we will look at what our proper course of action is at that time.”

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