PALMER PARK, Md. (AP) — The Prince George’s County police department is banning its members from working security at house parties while off-duty after five officers were hired for a weekend party where someone drowned, police said Tuesday.
Deputy Police Chief Kevin Davis said Tuesday that the officers weren’t to blame for the death of Kevin Akinfeleye, 22, of Lanham and were not even aware that the man was at the bottom of the pool until more than two hours after he drowned. But he said the department, nonetheless, would now prohibit officers from off-duty jobs at house parties as part of a broader restriction on outside employment that the police force will unveil next month.
“When we have a need to take immediate action to ensure that we’re acting in a manner in which the community expects us to act, we’ll take those actions right away,” Davis said.
Akinfeleye is believed to have drowned about 1 a.m. Sunday in the pool at the Broadwater Mansion in Upper Marlboro. The first 911 call came in at 1:37 a.m., and when emergency crews arrived about 15 minutes later, they failed to find the body during a visual search of the pool. Davis said an investigation was continuing into why emergency responders could not locate the body. About 30 people were in the pool at the time.
“They did in fact make a visual inspection of this pool. Very unfortunately, they didn’t see the drowning at the bottom of the pool,” he said.
The body was discovered around 3:20 a.m. when emergency crews responded a second time. The body was found in about 9 feet of water in the deep end of the pool, Davis said. Akinfeleye was taken to Southern Maryland Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Davis said the home was owned by former state Senator Tommie Broadwater. A phone message left for Broadwater was not immediately returned Tuesday. Davis said he did not know who had organized the party, though he said tickets were made available for the gathering. Internet listings show the property hosts a variety of parties.
Police Chief Mark Magaw ordered a review into outside employment by police officers after becoming interim leader last December and following the arrests of three county officers charged with accepting money to ensure transport of untaxed cigarettes and alcohol in Maryland and Virginia. A new set of policies are to be unveiled next month, Davis said.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)