New jobs for Fairfield Twp police officers who quit after not shooting armed suspect

Austin Reed (left) and Mark Bartlett (right) are working as correction officers at the Butler...
Austin Reed (left) and Mark Bartlett (right) are working as correction officers at the Butler County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Richard Jones says.(Provided by the Butler County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 11:52 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2022 at 12:38 PM EST
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HAMILTON, Ohio (WXIX) - Two Fairfield Township police officers who recently resigned after not firing at an armed homicide suspect have new jobs in law enforcement.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones tells FOX19 NOW he hired Austin Reed and Mark Bartlett as correction officers for the jail, which the sheriff’s office operates.

Bartlett previously worked for the sheriff’s office as a corrections officer before joining Fairfield Township Police Department.

“He was a great employee,” Sheriff Jones said Tuesday.

Bartlett was re-hired on Oct. 14 and Reed was hired about a week later, on Oct. 27. Bartlett is being paid $56,264 annually. Reed will earn $53,060.

“Everybody gets a chance to work and make a living,” the sheriff tells FOX19 NOW. “That didn’t work out for them there in Fairfield Township, but it worked out perfect for the sheriff’s office. On any given day, everybody reacts differently.

“It’s very difficult in today’s environment to find people that want to work in prisons or jails in any capacity or police departments and we are no exception. We are very fortunate to get these two individuals. They are working in the jail as we speak and are still certified peace officers.”

Bartlett and Reed resigned from the Fairfield Township Police Department last month, shortly after they didn’t use deadly force on Oct. 8 against the armed homicide suspect, 25-year-old Stephaun Jones (no relation to Sheriff Jones).

Both offices made mistakes during that encounter and voluntarily quit, according to Fairfield Township Chief of Police Robert Chabali.

They should have pulled and fired their weapons and didn’t, he told FOX19 NOW last month.

“They’re good people, but at some point and time, they made a decision that they couldn’t take a human life if they had to, and the best thing for them to do is move on,” he said during an Oct. 18 interview.

Jones was accused of killing 25-year-old Sidney Printup earlier Oct. 8 after a vehicle crash near a Marathon gas station on Fairgrove Avenue in Hamilton that escalated into a shooting, according to Hamilton police.

They say Jones got out of his vehicle, shot Printup multiple times and then fled the scene.

A resident called 911 and followed the suspect into neighboring Fairfield Township, updating the 911 dispatcher along the way

When Reed and Bartlett responded to the area and encountered Jones in a yard off Morris Road, they failed to follow their police training, according to the chief.

The suspect pointed his gun at them and ignored their commands.

Reed pulled out his non-lethal Taser stun gun on Jones instead of matching deadly force by pulling his gun out. He deployed the Taser as Jones ran off but the barbs didn’t hit him, according to the police report.

The gunman escaped, prompting a wider search that resulted in another encounter with police - one that ended very differently.

Hamilton Police Officer Bryan Bowlin and Officer James Leisinger ordered Jones to put his hands up after he showed them a handgun.

The suspect ignored their commands so they shot him.

Stephaun Jones, 25, of Liberty Township, is accused of killing 25-year-old Sidney Printup after...
Stephaun Jones, 25, of Liberty Township, is accused of killing 25-year-old Sidney Printup after a crash around 7 p.m. near the Marathon gas station on Fairgrove Avenue in Hamilton, according to the Hamilton Police Department.(WXIX)

After Jones was disarmed, multiple officers began to give him medical aid, police have said.

He was later pronounced dead at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

After an investigation into the police shooting by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, a Butler County grand jury reviewed the facts and determined the use of deadly force against Jones was justified and followed police protocol, according to Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser.

“Officers Bowlin and Leisinger followed their training, used good tactics, and acted decisively to keep an armed and very dangerous suspect from harming anyone else,” Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit said last week.

“They protected many innocent lives by placing themselves in harm’s way. I’m proud of them—they’re heroes.”

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