WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of U.S. soldiers forced out of the Army because of crimes or misconduct has soared in the past several years.
That's as the military emerges from a decade of war that put a greater focus on battle competence than on character.
Data obtained by The Associated Press shows that the number of officers who left the Army due to misconduct more than tripled in the past three years.
The number of enlisted soldiers forced out for drugs, alcohol, crimes and other misconduct jumped from about 5,600 in 2007 as the Iraq war peaked, to more than 11,000 last year.
The data reveals stark differences between the military services, and shows the strains that long, repeated deployments to the front lines have had on soldiers and their leaders.
The Caseyville police chief facing misconduct charges, is dead from an apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound.
J.D. Roth was found on the back patio of his Fairview Heights home Thursday. Roth was under investigation for allegedly letting his girlfriend off for a felony drunk driving charge. Investigators also alleged that he used a pickup that was seized during a drug bust for personal reasons.
The Caseyville Mayor George Chance fired Roth in March. Roth had been chief for 10 years.
Former New Athens Chief Dallas Hill admitted taking an Apple iPod and iPad from the department's evidence locker for personal use.
St. Clair County Prosecutor Brandon Kelly says it's the kind of crime officials hate to see. "You never want to have to do anything like this. You never want to have to prosecute a police officer, because they're part of our team."
Though the 27-year-old Hill won't report to a probation officer, the felony conviction bars him from being a police officer and carrying a gun.