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Off-duty JCPD officer arrested for DWI, hit-and-run accident

Jefferson City police on Monday arrested one of their own after responding to a possible hit-and-run accident.

Rachael Barnard, 35, an off-duty officer, was arrested for driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. Police aren’t saying how long their ongoing investigation will take, or what her status is with the department.

Police reported that, at about 11:30 a.m. Monday, officers were dispatched to the 1600 block of Tanner Bridge Road, near its intersection with Mesa Avenue, to investigate a possible hit-and-run accident that had just occurred.

A caller stated that an orange vehicle had struck a parked pickup truck, then had left the scene toward Ellis Boulevard.

Police said officers found the suspect vehicle about 11:33 a.m., on a Flora Drive business parking lot.

The vehicle operator was identified as Barnard, who was arrested and taken to the police department.

Barnard then was taken to the Cole County Jail, where she posted bond.

Municipal charges are pending for leaving the scene of an accident, and for driving while intoxicated. No charges had been filed as of Monday afternoon, Municipal court officials said.

Nathan Nickolaus, interim Jefferson City administrator and city counselor, said it was his understanding the case against Barnard was sent to municipal court because that’s standard for a first-time DWI.

“The prosecutors have given the police the instructions on how to handle these,” he said. “If the judge or the prosecutor sees a problem, it can easily be sent to circuit court. I think the police were merely trying to treat her the same as anyone else.”

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