Conyers officer arrested in Porterdale suspended without pay

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

CONYERS -- A Conyers Police Department officer who was charged in Porterdale with DUI and subsequently pleaded guilty to reckless driving was suspended by the department for 80 hours without pay.

Officer Justin Shane Lykins, 35, was arrested on charges of DUI and illegal window tint on Jan. 22. He pleaded guilty to reckless driving and the window tint charge in April in Porterdale Municipal Court under a negotiated plea arrangement and was sentenced to six months on probation, 40 hours of community service and ordered to complete an alcohol abuse evaluation and pay a fine of $1,385.

On May 11, Conyers Police Chief Gene Wilson notified Lykins via an internal memo that, as a result of an internal affairs investigation, Lykins would be suspended without pay for 80 working hours, removed from the sergeant promotional list for one year and the incident would be reflected in his annual performance review.

According to information provided by Conyers Human Resources Department, Lykins' suspension began May 19 and concluded on June 2. He was scheduled to return to normal work duties on June 3.

Following his arrest and prior to his suspension, Lykins was assigned to desk duty at the Conyers Police Department.

According to a report by Capt. Mike Waters of the Conyers Police Department Office of Professional Standards, Lykins was found to have violated the CPD's Standard Operating Procedure on two counts: conduct unbecoming an officer and failure to conform to laws.

Waters reported that Lykins and six other department members met on the evening of Jan. 22 in Porterdale for a social outing.

Based on his interview of Lykins following his arrest, Waters reported that Lykins, six other CPD employees and some civilian friends met at Porterdale Bar and Grill, where Lykins said he drank four Yuengling beers and one Jagermeister bomb between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Lykins told Waters that all members of the party except him had a designated sober drive.

After leaving the restaurant, Lykins was pulled over on Palmetto Street by a Porterdale Police officer based on the fact that his window tint was darker than legally allowed. Once the officer spoke with Lykins, he reported that he detected an odor of alcohol coming from the car. A trooper from the Georgia State Patrol was then called to handle the incident because the Porterdale officer was aware that Lykins worked for another police department and wanted to make sure the case was handled impartially. Lykins was charged with DUI by the State Patrol trooper and with window tint violation by the Porterdale officer.

According to the internal investigation report, Lykins admitted that his window tint was too dark and said that he had darkened it while he worked as an undercover narcotics officer so that suspects would not recognize him driving a car other than his undercover car. He said he failed to have the tint removed when he was reassigned to Uniform Patrol.