Hilliard Northwest News

Burck's resignation pulls K9 from duty


The Hilliard Division of Police will be one K9 unit short after David M. Burck resigned prior to the findings of an internal investigation into alleged sexual conduct while on duty.

Burck, a 10-year veteran, had been the subject of an internal administrative investigation since Oct. 24, 2013.

During the investigation, Burck, 40, admitted to engaging in sexual conduct while on duty, Police Chief Doug Francis said last week.

The investigation determined there were no findings to warrant any criminal charges, Francis said.

According to an Oct. 17 report from Hilliard Lt. Ron Clark to Francis, a confidential source said Burck had sexual contact with a woman at a Hilliard park while he was on duty.

Clark also discovered Burck had arrested the woman for assault in October 2009.

Text messages between Burck and the woman, provided to Clark by the source, did not suggest any criminal activity or violations of the law, but could be considered a violation of department policies, Clark wrote in the Oct. 17 report that preceded the internal investigation.

The loss of Burck leaves the police division with two active K9 units, and three are required to provide around-the-clock coverage, Francis said.

Burck's dog, Erko, was returned to Storm K9, a company that trains police dogs.

Storm K9 will attempt to train Erko to work with another handler, Francis said.

He said Hilliard is unlikely to replace the third K9 unit before next spring.

"We might have to rely on help sometimes from Columbus, Dublin or Franklin County," Francis said.

The new K9 handler will come from the existing rank and file, but, Francis said, he will make promotions to sergeant before opening up the opportunity for officers to apply for training as a K9 handler.

Francis announced late last year that the department planned on hiring two officers to replace retiring personnel and two officers who will be assigned to a new traffic bureau.

With the departure of Burck, Francis said, he expects five Hilliard recruits to join the next academy class in June. Those officers would not be ready for full-time service, however, until early next year, Francis said.