LIMA — A former officer in the Lima Police Department was sentenced Thursday to three years on probation for misusing a police database and for actions he took during a domestic situation involving his children and his estranged wife.
Allen County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Reed told Christopher Lemke he had “failed as a police officer and as a parent.”
Reed said that while he realized that police officers are human and subject to the same lapses in judgment as any other member of the community, “these days it’s open season on law enforcement officers, and you are under a spotlight. You have brought dishonor to your former profession and your former colleagues.
“Citizens have an expectation that our police offers are going to exercise better judgment. You messed up in a lot of ways.”
Lemke, 34, addressed Reed prior to sentencing and apologized “for everything I did; I could have handled both situations better. I hope my kids can tell I’ve learned from my mistakes,” he said.
Lemke entered guilty pleas in May to five felony charges in two separate and distinctly different cases as part of a negotiated deal with prosecutors.
He pleaded guilty to three fifth-degree felony counts of the unauthorized use of law enforcement automated database system in exchange for the state’s dismissal of nine more identical counts.
Lemke was fired from the Lima Police Department in May of last year after being indicted by an Allen County grand jury on 12 counts of the unauthorized use of the department’s LEADS automated date system. The incidents took place in September of 2019.
In a separate case, Lemke also pleaded guilty to disrupting public services, a fourth-degree felony, and obstructing official business, a fifth-degree felony.
Those charges were the result of an Aug. 17 incident during which police say Lemke fired his gun into the air and restrained his estranged wife and their children from leaving their property.
Reed asked what Lemke would say to his fellow law enforcement brethren.
“I apologize to all of them,” Lemke replied.