Las Cruces Police Officer Dismissed

Las Cruces – A Las Cruces Police officer has been relieved of his duties after an internal investigation revealed he provided false information about an off-duty traffic accident.

LCPD patrol officer Daniel Benoit, 21, was charged with falsifying a police report, a misdemeanor, and one traffic citation for due care collision after the Oct. 1 crash on University Avenue.

Benoit had been with LCPD since June 8, 2008.

Shortly before 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1, Benoit was involved in a relatively minor three-car collision that occurred on University Avenue just west of Locust Street. No injuries were reported.

When LCPD officers arrived to investigate the accident, Benoit told them he was a passenger in one of the vehicles. Officers later discovered that Benoit was the driver of one of the vehicles.

"We do not tolerate any falsification of reports, whatsoever, by the general public or by law enforcement officers whether they work for our department or another agency," said LCPD Chief Harry Romero.

The Las Cruces Police Department's Professional Standards Unit conducted an internal review of the incident. Benoit was placed on administrative leave with pay on Oct. 5 and he was relieved from duty Nov. 13.