2 California Borough officers suspended after leaving post while on-duty

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CALIFORNIA, Pa. - Two California Borough police officers have been suspended as a result of an incident last Friday that the police chief believe put the public at risk.

California Borough Police Chief Rick Encapera said the problem goes back to last Friday night when the on-duty officers weren’t where they were supposed to be.

Police said a bar fight broke out at Sigz Bistro located off the California University campus and spilled into the street.

Channel 11’s Jodine Costanzo confirmed that three California Borough officers were on-duty, but two, officers Justin Schultz and Terry Childs, left for a couple hours for an unauthorized errand miles away in the city of Washington, leaving one officer patrolling the entire borough on a busy Friday night.

Outraged students and business owners packed a California borough meeting Thursday night where council voted unanimously to suspend those Schultz and Childs for 30 days without pay.

Encapera said their actions created a public safety issue even though nearby departments provided backup.

Also, at the meeting Thursday night, many accused Schultz and Childs of unprofessional conduct and using excessive force.

Encapera promised that the accusations will be investigated, but the department’s trust and reputation have been called into question.