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Officer Watson's conditions approved by Dwight Board

Published: Monday, June 23, 2014 9:30 p.m. CST

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DWIGHT – The off-duty Dwight police officer involved in a DUI accident in December must fulfill a lengthy list of conditions before his official reinstatement.

The Dwight Village Board approved, 4-0, the requirements for Dwight police officer Watson McKee to return to his post by Sept. 19, 2014, pending that he accept the conditions and the state chooses to reinstate his license.

The village agreed McKee must pass an inspection by the village doctor; pass the state of Illinois physical agility test; face immediate termination if he violates village code in the future; design at least 10 drunk driving awareness programs for grade school and high school students; and participate in random drug and alcohol testing for the next two years.

“I believe Watson (McKee) is an outstanding officer and asset to Dwight,” Village President Jared Anderson said Monday. "I have met with Officer McKee numerous times and discussed his situation. He has been very apologetic and regretful for his actions."

In December while McKee was off-duty, the vehicle he was driving collided with a pole about two miles west of Cabery. He was hospitalized and charged with driving under the influence and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. At the time, he had been with Dwight police for four years and was placed on leave.

Only McKee’s vehicle was involved, and he had no passengers.

Last month in Livingston County court, he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and was sentenced to two years court supervision and ordered to do 240 hours of community service. He also was fined, cannot use or possess alcohol or enter establishments where alcohol is the primary business, has to attend counseling, attend a Victim Impact Panel and cannot operate a vehicle not equipped with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device other than for work, according to judici.com.

Earlier this month, the board voted, 4-3, to reinstate McKee with Anderson issuing a tie-breaking vote in favor of McKee's reinstatement.

Board discusses Denker tragedy, pledges dollars

Also Monday, the village board pledged $5,000 to the Grundy County Crimestoppers tip hot line, bringing the reward total to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest in the Danker homicides.

It asks anyone with information to call the Crimestoppers line at 815-942-9667. Callers can remain anonymous, and rewards are offered for information leading to an arrest.

Dwight residents Donna Denker, 60, and Kelli Denker, 30, were shot and killed at their home at 200 W. North St. in Dwight. Police said they received a call at 4:38 a.m. June 14 from a man at the house saying he had been shot.

The board began Monday's meeting with a moment of silence for the residents and applauded the efforts of local law enforcement agencies.

"We just want to continue sending our thoughts and prayers to the Denkers," Anderson said Monday. "The police are continuing to follow up leads. The Illinois State Police is still here with us, and we'll just keep moving forward and hopefully get this solved in a timely manner."

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