Prince George’s Officers Banned From Off-Duty Work At Parties

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.)

  • Mmmmmm

    Errr…what kind of house party needs 5 off duty policemen as security?

  • DonJuan

    The kind that is held at a very well known mansion which catered to several hundred people.

  • J

    Guess they should have hired lifeguards too. How does a party that big that needs 5 police officers as security, not have somone spot that this person is in the pool drowning especially since the article makes it seem that he was in there for 2 hours. It’s definetly not the cops fault as I’m sure they were probably working the doors. I’m just saying how does not 1 party goer not see someone at the bottom of the pool.

  • d

    The police officers and paramedic crews who visually inspect a pool where someone was drowned are also to be blamed and accountable for negligence, no matter how effective they had been to that point. It was a classical error and lack of judgment to assume (by visual inspection) that no one was inside the pool whereas the first phone call was actually for someone who had been drowned inside a pool right at that facllity. They saw and knew that the pool was very dirty and not a clean pool that is supposed to be. Further, the number of people who were in that pool (when they came and visually inspect) should not have beclouded their judgment to search inside the pool. This is life of a young promising man that had been wasted—and ALL the Police Chiefs Kevin Davis and Magaw have been saying were out of context in light of what happened. How did they know that it was not the fault of the police officers if adequate safety measures were exercised at that period of time. Why mere visual inspection was replaced by thorough safety measures that should have saved a life in a 9-ft pool? As a matter of fact, these people knew that the pool was not clear, very dirty. The police officers were working without the presence of LIFE GUARDS BY A POOL. What kind of safety measures should have been put in place? A Seformer Senator who knows and understands the law has also broken the law by not putting LIFE GUARDS to be present at that night. He hired police officers who probably were not knowledgeable in swiming pool safety, rather than a LIFE GUARDS who could have saved a life that night. These are the questions. These are the questions.

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