Off-duty Lawrence police detective arrested after allegedly crashing into car while under the influence

photo by: Kim Callahan/Journal-World

A Lawrence Police Department patrol vehicle is pictured June 28, 2022.

An off-duty Lawrence police detective was arrested Saturday morning after he allegedly crashed his car while under the influence, according to a news release Saturday from the Lawrence Police Department.

About 12:30 a.m., police officers were dispatched to a noninjury motor vehicle accident in the 1500 Block of Lindenwood Lane. The reporting party was inside a home in the area and heard a crash, looked out and realized her parked car was struck and sustained obvious damage, according to the release.

The responding officer immediately recognized the driver as off-duty detective Adam Welch, who was driving his personal vehicle. The officer alerted supervision, who asked for an on-duty Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper to respond but one was not available. Supervisors called in Douglas County sheriff’s deputies. The Lawrence Police Department will not be involved in the investigation.

Deputies found probable cause to arrest the detective and believe he was operating his vehicle while impaired, the release said. The detective was taken to the Douglas County Jail and booked.

Per protocol, the detective was immediately placed on paid administrative leave pending internal investigation by the Office of Professional Accountability and the chief of police.

Chief Rich Lockhart issued the following statement: “I am personally saddened. Anyone who knows me knows I am openly emotional about the professionals in this department, the community we serve, and the law enforcement industry in general. It’s not good news. However, I have promised this community transparency, which is why I instructed the proactive release of this information. At the same time, I am again very proud of our responding officers and supervisors, who immediately recognized we should not be investigating this incident and called an outside agency. That is exactly how a situation like this should be handled. As an off-duty incident and employment matter, we will respect the individual’s privacy but understand the public’s interest and will release relevant information as decisions are made.”


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