AUSTIN (KXAN) - An Austin police officer was suspended for a day after his off-duty handgun fell from the tailgate of his pickup truck and landed in the parking lot of a city park.
Police Chief Art Acevedo said in his suspension memo that Officer Cameron Caldwell had just returned to his truck from a mountain-bike ride in Walnut Creek Park on Aug. 9. He apparently left the .40-caliber pistol and holster on the tailgate after unpacking his backpack, the memo said.
A park visitor found the weapon and called police.
Acevedo said the officer violated the department rule requiring officers to "ensure that all firearms and ammunition are secured in a manner that will keep them inaccessible and irresponsible adults ..."
Under city rules, officers may use vacations or holidays to serve a suspension of three days or less with no loss of salary or break in service. If an officer chooses that option, the suspension cannot be appealed.
The rules also allows an officer to appeal the suspension to an arbitrator or the civil service commission. If the suspension is overturned, the officer will not lose pay for the time of the suspension
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