NOPD Cop Arrested After Search Found Crack, Over 100 Guns Had Long History Of Misconduct | News
Before he was arrested this week for allegedly stealing a gun and $7,500 cash from a suspect, New Orleans Police Department officer Reginald Koeller III had amassed a long and checkered history of misconduct, according to Public Service Commission records.
Staff documents show Reginald Koeller III, an 18-year veteran of the force, has been disciplined multiple times since 2016. The offenses ranged in severity. But cumulatively, they suggest a pattern of opacity that culminated in Koeller’s arrest on Wednesday, after FBI agents and agents from the NOPD’s Office of Public Integrity raided his apartment and discovered more than 100 guns and 32.1 grams of crack.
In one of his most serious offenses, Koeller was suspended for three days after failing to disclose crucial information to his supervisor regarding a dispute between a father and son in July 2015.
When Koeller responded to the domestic unrest, the father begged him to confiscate a gun belonging to his enraged son, Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Sylvester. Sylvester had drug-related mental health issues and in 2011 was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault.
But Koeller never climbed the stairs to speak with Sylvester or observe his state of mind. He told the father he could go to the coroner’s office to request his son’s committal, but he did not help him. And he didn’t confiscate the gun or note in his report that Sylvester was an MP. Two days later, Sylvester opened fire on an SUV from his marked police van and sparked a fight at a Waffle House in Gentilly.
The father of an Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy arrested early Tuesday and charged with pointing a gun at an unsuspecting motorist, shot…
Koeller was suspended again in 2018, this time for one day, after failing to activate his body-worn camera while using force on the court. Public service records did not include details of the incident.
Then there were three more minor infractions.
Koeller received a letter of reprimand in September 2016 for failing to document criminal damage to property. A miner used a BB gun to fire through the window of a house and a vehicle and Koeller did not report it, records show.
He also failed to report a traffic stop after someone cut him off on Tulane Avenue in September 2015. His NOPD-marked vehicle suffered damage to the front bumper, which Koeller “couldn’t get over.” remember” when he informed his supervisor, who demanded a hit. -and-run the report. Investigators could not prove that Koeller falsified his damage report, but he received a disciplinary letter for failing to report the traffic stop.
Then, in February 2017, Koeller received another letter of reprimand, this time for failing to ensure that a woman he had arrested placed her belongings in the correct place when she was booked into the Central Lockup. She hid a stolen Rolex watch in her vagina in Koeller’s police car.
Koeller’s behavior resembles the kind of misconduct that should trigger the NOPD’s vaunted early warning system, touted as a national model for spotting bad cops before they get too far. As part of the system, a supervisor is triggered when an agent’s behavior is above or below a threshold – for example, someone who uses a lot of sick days can prompt their supervisor to inquire about their health.
Asked if the system had failed to flag such a pattern in Koeller’s case, NOPD spokesman Gary Scheets said it was “designed to detect administrative violations and patterns of work performance. It is not designed to predict potential criminal behavior”.
Sheets did not say whether Koeller had received remedial training or punitive action beyond his suspensions and letters of reprimand.
Koeller was charged with possession of illegal weapons and possession with intent to distribute crack after Wednesday’s search. Court documents cite a March 23 police chase in which the subject crashed his vehicle and threw his weapon. Koeller allegedly retrieved the man’s Glock and remarked that he would keep it for “his collection”. He also allegedly pocketed $7,500 in cash belonging to the driver and did not report that he had taken possession of it.
Koeller the most recently worked as a patrolman in the 4th district. He also worked as a SWAT officer.