CPD Officer Busted for Drunken Driving Cops A Plea
Updated: Apr 26
The Columbus Division of Police officer arrested last January for drunken driving, drag racing, and speeding copped a plea Monday and got off the hook with a $150 fine.
In exchange for Officer Trier Knieper guilty plea to speeding, the Columbus City Attorney's Office dismissed the operating a motor vehicle under the influence and drag racing charges. In addition to the fine, six points went on Officer Knieper's driving record. Officer Knieper remains on the job.
Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers arrested Officer Knieper, 27, and her friend, 26-year-old Paige Slyman, around 9:05 p.m. on January 3 on westbound I-270 at milepost 27.
According to copies of the citations, the women reached speeds up to 100 miles an hour, 35 mph over the posted speed limit. In the OSHP dash cam video, you can see Officer Knieper behind the wheel of a 2017 blue Subaru station wagon and Slyman, driving a 2016 red Honda, blow by the trooper in the far right lane and quickly switch to the far left lanes.
The trooper pulled over Slyman and her furry friend sitting in the front passenger's seat.
Officer Knieper immediately pulled over, walked up to the trooper, and stated, "When I saw that she (Slyman) was getting pulled over, I just pulled over with her."
A second trooper arrived on the scene, and the women were administered field sobriety tests. According OSHP, they both refused to take breathalyzer tests.
The women told troopers that they had left the Little Turtle Grill & Bar in Westerville and were driving to visit friends.
Slyman, charged with the same offenses as Officer Knieper, has a sentencing hearing at Franklin County Municipal Court on June 13.
Before Officer Knieper joined CPD in December 2020, she was a corrections officer at the Delaware County Sheriff's Office (DCSO) for three years and four months.
According to her personnel file, Officer Knieper applied for a deputy position with the DCSO but didn't pass her oral board. "The oral board simply refers to the initial interview panel, which consists of members of the Sheriff’s Office staff," said DCSO spokesperson Tracy Whited." Our process requires that you must score at a certain level on the interview/oral board in order to progress to the next step. "
During her time as a corrections officer with the DCSO, records show that Officer Knieper had two Employee Performance Evaluations which assess Verbal and Written Communication, Judgment, Decision Making and Reasoning, Knowledge and Competence, Productivity and Quality of Work, and Appearance, Professionalism, and Cooperation.
Each category is given a score: Unsatisfactory (1), Needs Improvement (2), Performance is on Target (3), Excellent Job Requirements (4), and Outstanding (5), and then added up for a final score. Officer Knieper averaged 3.13 in one evaluation and 2.93 in the other.
The DCSO noted in one evaluation that "A common theme in this evaluation is that Officer Knieper seems to be content with the minimum acceptable results. I believe that she is capable of better things but may not be willing to expose herself to unfamiliar territory. I strongly encourage her to challenge herself to strive for a bigger and better next year."
It's also noted in Officer Knieper's DCSO personnel file that in September 2018, she applied for a position with Phoenix Police Dept. The record doesn't indicate if Officer Knieper received an offer.
On February 16, I requested a copy of Officer Knieper's CPD personnel file. To date, I haven't received it. On Tuesday, I received this email from the Public Records Unit. "Your request (23-0883) was received; however, due to the unit's current staffing levels, it has not been able to be processed yet, as we are about three months behind. The unit members are doing the best that they can with the resources available. You will be notified when your request is completed, but we have no way to provide a time frame. The requests are being worked on in the order that they were received. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. "
The penalty for first-time OVI is up to six months in jail with a mandatory three days served. Your license can also be suspended for up to three years. The judge can waive the jail time and allow you to drive with limited privileges like going to work.