AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin Police commander left his gun and badge at the Lakeline Mall Target last month.
Police were called to the Target at 10900 Lakeline Mall Dr. on the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 21 after a customer found a duffel bag with a badge and gun inside and turned it into the loss prevention office.
The badge belonged to Commander Stephen Deaton. When an officer arrived to the Target, Deaton was already back at the store. He told the officer that he was shopping at the Target and put his bag in the cart, which he normally wouldn’t do. Deaton told the officer that he realized it as soon as he got home and immediately went back to Target.
The commander left the Target with his badge and gun and notified the watch commander of the incident, according to an Austin Police report.
The department says that Deaton was internally disciplined, but that he would not face a formal suspension or unpaid time off.
In November of last year, Commander Deaton was suspended for three days for “unprofessional conduct.” The suspension was taken after a June 2014 meeting with officers in which Deaton discussed a decision he made as assistant chief to bring a case involving another officer to Internal Affairs. Deaton admitted to investigators that he gave his colleagues the “wrong impression” and that he did not send an officer’s case to Internal Affairs based on his personal opinion of the officer.
Deaton stepped down as assistant chief in April of 2014, citing personal reasons. “Recently I found myself in the position of having to choose between staying in my current assignment and/or pursuing the relationship I recently began,” he said at the time. “I will be stepping down as an assistant chief. I will continue my career with the PD in my previous role with the rank of commander.”