Prescott Valley Police Department commander Arthur Askew has resigned after video evidence showed him removing prescription drugs that had previously been turned in by the public for destruction from the department’s drug storage vault.
According to a release from the department, information was received regarding suspicious activity in the department’s property and evidence room, prompting the Chief of Police to direct that a motion activated still camera and a covert video surveillance camera be placed in the drug vault.
Video evidence showed Askew removing prescription drugs from the discard box and then leave the vault on two separate occasions.
Askew was reportedly immediately served with a Notice of Investigation and placed on administrative leave, then chose to resign effective Jan. 2, 2015.
Chief of Police Bryan Jarrell contacted the Yavapai County Sheriff’s office to conduct a criminal review on Jan. 5. The investigation was submitted for a review of possible criminal charges on Jan. 16. Askew has reportedly cooperated fully.
An internal audit conducted by the department also showed no items from criminal cases were taken.
Prescott police have released the following statement:
“The tragedy of this incident is that a good, honest, decent person became another victim to the power and control of addiction. It illustrates the fact that addiction makes people do things they never would have done otherwise; it does not care who you are or what your profession is.
“This should serve as a reminder to everyone that we must be vigilant to safeguard against the misuse of prescription medications. Everyone from the medical community to the patient must play a role to ensure prescription medications are properly dispensed, properly administered and, if appropriate, properly discarded.”