WASHINGTON PARK — A veteran Washington Park police officer was charged Friday afternoon with official misconduct on allegations he brought narcotics and prescription pills to an inmate.
Douglas Young, 61, of 514 Monica Drive, Lebanon, was charged with official misconduct for bringing narcotics and prescription medication into the St. Clair County Jail to a female prisoner, St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson said.
Bringing drugs into the jail is a felony offense.
Watson said Capt. Thomas L. Trice, assistant jail superintendent, started an investigation into illegal drugs being brought into the jail on June 18.
Several days earlier, according to Trice, an undercover investigator who was working in his official duty with a confidential source learned drugs had been smuggled into the jail to an inmate by a police officer.
The police officer was identified as Young.
Young has been a full-time police officer in Washington Park for about a year, but he has worked there since March 2001, officials in Washington Park said.
Watson said Trice learned that "Young used his position as a law enforcement officer to arrange visits to see an inmate who is currently in custody at the St. Clair County Jail for theft charges."
"During these unsupervised visits, Young would give the inmate prescription pills and other illegal narcotics according to witnesses," Watson said.
"Records show that Young has visited the St. Clair County Jail on numerous occasions since 2011 to see the same inmate after arrests by other agencies," Watson said.
Young's last visit on June 4 tipped off the investigation into his conduct.
"It was suspicious that he was arranging visits with this particular inmate at a time when his agency had no charges pending," Trice said.
Young was arrested by the St. Clair County Sheriff Department's Drug Tactical Unit with assistance from the patrol and canine units.
Watson said the warrant information would be forwarded to the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.
That board certifies and decertifies police officers in the state of Illinois. Watson is the chairman of the board.
St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said, "This is the 14th official misconduct case that my office has prosecuted in the past two years."
Watson called it "a sad day in law enforcement when the poor choices of one officer casts a shadow over this proud profession."
Watson said police officials "must have the trust of the community we serve."
The female prisoner was not identified.
Young was arrested while in his police uniform about 10 a.m. Thursday at the Washington Park Police Department. He is currently being held at the St. Clair County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.
Washington Park Police Chief Aubrey Keller could not be reached for comment.
Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.