Two Long Beach, Mississippi, Police Officers Fired After Girl, 3, Left Alone in Patrol Car Dies

(CBSNews) LONG BEACH, Miss. - Two Mississippi police officers have been fired after the death of a 3-year-old girl, who authorities say was left alone in a parked patrol car for four hours last week.

CBS Biloxi affiliate WLOX-TV reports the Long Beach Board of Aldermen voted unanimously Tuesday night to terminate Officer Cassie Barker and Sgt. Clark Ladner.

Chief Wayne McDowell recommended the immediate termination of the officers, who were also suspended without pay during the investigation. Reports said he cited a violation of department policies - conduct detrimental to the public.

Barker’s daughter was found unresponsive in her patrol car Friday and pronounced dead at a hospital.

Investigator Glenn Granna in Mississippi’s Hancock County said Tuesday no criminal charges have been filed to date.

Neither officer could immediately be reached for comment.

WLOX reports civil service protection gives the officers 10 days to appeal the termination vote.

“Hopefully it gives us that half step forward,” the chief told, noting the death of the little girl and the officers’ involvement has taken a toll on his staff. “It’s going to take some time to get morale back and get trust back.”

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