After the rather controversial case of the off-duty Sturgis police officer who crashed his truck through a guardrail while driving drunk, and the Fruitport police officer who lost his job for driving drunk with his baby in the car, here is yet another tragic example of an officer making a poor choice. Now a Kent County Officer may pay a very high price for choosing to drink and drive.
44-year-old Peter Gerkin, a veteran sergeant with the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, has been the subject of a DUI investigation by the department after a 3am collision on January 4 that left him severely wounded. According to Kent County Undersheriff Jon Hess, Gerkin was the sole occupant of his vehicle and no other cars were involved in the accident. The police report indicates that Gerkin lost control of his vehicle due to ice on the roads.
Gerkin has now been charged with operating with a high blood-alcohol content (also known as “super drunk“) and also an open alcohol container charge. His arraignment is pending.
After the accident, Gerkin was transported to a local hospital for treatment. As of yet, no information has been released to the public regarding the nature of his injuries. His injuries have only been described as “severe.” Gerkin has been placed on paid medical leave from the department. Whether or not he remains an employee of the police department is still in question.
Officer Gerkin is a highly decorated and seasoned member of the Sheriff’s Department, with a degree in Criminal Justice, 10 years serving as a detective in the Investigative Division, and the current position of Road Patrol Supervisor within the tactical unit. If he did indeed make the terrible mistake of drinking too much alcohol before driving, and is convicted of the charges against him, his department will suffer a significant loss without him, whether temporary or permanent.