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Rushville officer resigns after giving alcohol to minors during police Christmas banquet

RUSHVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – A Rushville Police Office has resigned after being accused of giving alcohol to minors during a Christmas party.

According to police, three Rush County teen males ages 16, 16 and 17 were arrested for consumption of alcohol by a minor. The three were found at the annual Police Department Christmas Banquet intoxicated.

At the time of the arrest, officers determined the boys had been consuming alcohol in the parking lot of the Rushville Knights of Columbus Hall, where the banquet was held. They alleged to have drank the alcohol from a cooler in the back of a pickup truck in the parking lot.

As the investigation developed, officers determined the juveniles were given alcohol by off-duty Rushville Police Officer Donald Cochran. Police said after a criminal and an internal investigation were conducted, they found Cochran gave hard liquor to all three of the juveniles on two separate occasions during the banquet.

Police said the staff and faculty of the Rushville Knights of Columbus were not aware of the illegal activity.

The Rushville Police Department submitted the findings of this investigation to the Rush County Prosecutor’s Office on Monday.

The prosecutor’s office is asking for the following criminal charges against Cochran:

  • Contributing to the delinquency of a minor
  • Furnishing alcohol to minors

The minors are being charged with minor possession of alcohol.

Cochran was hired by the Rushville Police Department in April of 2014, where he has served as a patrolman.

Cochran was placed on administrative leave on Dec. 3. He resigned on Dec. 7.

“While this situation will no doubt erode the public trust of the Rushville Police Department in some ways, I hope the transparency with which we have approached this issue and the immediate investigation that followed the incident will underscore to our citizens that this type of behavior is intolerable. Furthermore, any individual associated with the Rushville Police Department will receive consistent treatment if they are unable or unwilling to live up to the standards we expect our employees to abide by. We are hopeful we can work with our community to heal this wound and continue to move forward in a positive direction,” Rushville Police Department’ Chief Craig M. Tucker said.

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