Officer Sandra Lyles was caught on camera by a 7News viewer after leaving the Big Lots store on Northwest 57th Avenue, with mattresses on top of her marked police vehicle.
The picture got Lyles relieved of duty just days before she was set to retire. “It’s definitely against policy. It’s not why our cars are assigned to personnel for,” said Major Nancy Perez.
Major Nancy Perez says it is common practice for officers like Lyles to take home their vehicle, and are even allowed to use them to run errands. “Actually we encourage that, if they go to the cleaners, to use their marked cars because of visibility. The criminal element will see that there are more cars out there,” she said.
Shopper Marcelo Rodriguez said Lyles took it way too far, however. “As a former government employee, in my view, that’s totally unethical and uncalled for,” said Rodriguez.
According to personnel records, this is not Lyles’ first disciplinary dilemma. She has been disciplined more than a dozen times.
Back in 1990, Lyles was demoted and taken off the streets and assigned as a secretary. In 2003, records show she parked her marked vehicle in a handicapped space. And, in 2007, she was disciplined for conducting private business while on duty.
This latest incident has left Lyles without her police vehicle, gun and badge. “On behalf the MDPD, we apologize to the community that one of our employees did something such as this to bring embarrassment,” said Perez.