HAMBURG — Prosecutors filed D.U.I. charges Monday against a state trooper accused of being drunk on the job while he was in a marked state police cruiser.
The trooper is from the Tamaqua area. He works out of the barracks near Hamburg.
Kevin Wackley, 47, worked at the state police station at Hamburg until last Thursday night. That`s when he was arrested for DUI. Officials said he was on duty, driving a marked police car. Court papers show his alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.
Sargent Robert Wagner was Wackley’s supervisor.
“My immediate thoughts were we have to do the right thing. We have to do what the public would expect us to do,” Wagner said.
Sargent Wagner said the drama began when Trooper Wackley met with a local police chief.
“He noticed that the trooper appeared to be a little bit intoxicated and smelled of alcohol emanating from his breath. He notified us of the situation, we had a supervisor go out and meet Trooper Wackley and from there he was taken into custody,” Wagner explained.
Sargent Wagner said morale is high despite having to arrest one of their own.
“His is something you don’t see. I’ve been on 21 years and I haven’t seen it myself,” said Wagner.
Ray Edling tends to his garden. He`s neighbors with Trooper Wackley. Edling said Wackley always seemed to be a nice guy.
“Sometimes good people do things that aren’t smart, it just happens. I haven’t been perfect in my life and I am sure you haven’t been either. People make mistakes,” Edling said.
We tried speaking with Trooper Wackley at his home. He had no comment.
According to state police, Trooper Wackley has been suspended without pay.
A hearing on the D.U.I. charge will be held at a future point in time.