ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A new development in the incident involving the report of a missing child from a Thanksgiving party Friday morning.
Rochester Police Department Investigator Jeff McEntee has been suspended with pay following the off-duty incident.
This all stemming from a reported missing toddler from a home on Sherri Ann lane in Greece. Officials say the 3-year-old is McEntee's son.
Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli said a total of more than 60 officers responded, including 37 RPD officers.
“To have a large-scale effort to find a missing child of that age that late at night – whether or not it was an RPD officer’s child – I think it would’ve happened anyway," Ciminelli said.
The child was alone, sleeping in bed back at his home a few miles away.
“While we’re very grateful at the response that the law enforcement community mounted as they would for any missing child, it turned out the child was home under circumstances that raise a question," said Ciminelli. "Some of our rules and regulations relate to our officers’ off-duty conduct. And we need to look if this officer measured up to those rules and regulations or whether they were violated.”
Police say when they responded to the call around 2 a.m. Friday, the adults in the home were drunk and made it hard to investigate the situation.
“My own personal expectation would be with the response of local law enforcement to help find an off-duty RPD officer’s child – my expectation would be that this officer would be cooperative with the process and do everything he can to assist," Ciminelli said.
Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan says he is also disappointed by McEntee’s behavior.
“People were belligerent, abusive, profanity – it was a difficult situation," Phelan said. "We certainly would’ve expected a higher level of cooperation from a fellow law enforcement officer and it’s disappointing that we didn’t get it. And we continue not to get it: he’s refused all additional requests for an interview, he’s retained the services of an attorney and he’s continuing to refuse our requests for interviews.”
Phelan says RPD responded only because one of the city’s officers was involved.
“It was the sole factor," he said. "We didn’t reach out to RPD for assistance, and normally would not. We generally ask for assistance from state police and the sheriff’s office. We simply made a courtesy call to the staff duty officer.”
No arrests have been made or charges filed.
But Phelan insists McEntee was not treated differently because he is a police investigator.
“Regardless of whether or not the person involved was a police officer or not, there was no probable cause for an arrest," he said.
Phelan says neighbor’s surveillance video shows McEntee walking with his son toward the street, but that there is currently no evidence that McEntee had driven drunk with his son in the car.
Phelan says McEntee was uncooperative and didn't admit to driving his son home.
The chief says McEntee refused further interviews, and that no one can say who drove the toddler home.
Greece Police filed a report with Child Protective Services to investigate why the child was left home alone.