A Columbus Police officer arrested last month for OVI, drag racing, and speeding remains on the job
Sgt. Joe Albers, Executive Officer to Chief Elaine Bryant, said that the Franklin County Municipal Court dismissed Officer Trier Knieper's driver's license suspension. Sgt. Albers added that Officer Knieper is "back to full duty." Officer Knieper's pre-trial is scheduled for March 8.
Ohio Highway Patrol troopers arrested Officer Knieper, 27, and her friend, 26-year-old Paige Slyman, around 9:05 p.m. on January 3 on westbound I-270 at milepost 27.
According to copies of the citations, the women reached speeds up to 100 miles an hour, 35 mph over the posted speed limit. In the posted OHP dash cam video, you can see Officer Knieper behind the wheel of a 2017 blue Subaru station wagon and Slyman, driving a 2016 red Honda, blow by the trooper in the far right lane and quickly switch to the far left lanes.
The trooper pulled over, Slyman and her furry friend sitting in the front passenger's seat.
Officer Knieper immediately pulled over, walked up to the trooper, and stated, "When I saw that she (Slyman) was getting pulled over, I just pulled over with her."
A second trooper arrived on the scene, and the women were administered field sobriety tests. According to the OHP's report, they both refused to take breathalyzer tests.
The women told troopers that they had left the Little Turtle Grill & Bar in Westerville and were driving to visit friends.
Before Officer Knieper joined the Columbus Division of Police (CPD)in December 2020, she was a corrections officer at the Delaware County Sheriff's Office (DCSO) for three years and four months.
According to her personnel file, Officer Knieper applied for a deputy position with the DCSO, but didn't pass her oral board. "The oral board simply refers to the initial interview panel, which consists of members of the Sheriff’s Office staff," said DCSO spokesperson Tracy Whited." Our process requires that you must score at a certain level on the interview/oral board in order to progress to the next step. "
During her time as a corrections officer with the DCSO, records show that Officer Knieper had two Employee Performance Evaluations which assess Verbal and Written Communication, Judgment, Decision Making and Reasoning, Knowledge and Competence, Productivity and Quality of Work, and Appearance, Professionalism, and Cooperation.
Each category is given a score: Unsatisfactory (1), Needs Improvement (2), Performance is on Target (3), Excellent Job Requirements (4), and Outstanding (5), and then added up for a final score. Officer Knieper averaged 3.13 in one evaluation and 2.93 in the other.
The DCSO noted in one evaluation that "A common theme in this evaluation is that Officer Knieper seems to be content with the minimum acceptable results. I believe that she is capable of better things, but may not be willing to expose herself to unfamiliar territory. I strongly encourage her to challenge herself to strive for a bigger and better next year."
It's also noted in Officer Knieper's DCSO personnel file that in September 2018, she applied for a position with Phoenix Police Dept. The record doesn't indicate if Officer Knieper received an offer.
On February 16, I requested a copy of Officer Knieper's CPD personnel file. To date, I haven't received it.
Paige Slyman pleaded no contest to OVI-Impaired, speeding, and drag racing on February 9 and will be sentenced on April 11.
The penalty for first-time OVI-Impaired is up to six months in jail with a mandatory three days served. Your license can also be suspended for up to three years. However, the judge can waive the jail time and allow you to drive with limited privileges like going to work.