Palo Alto officer reprimanded for off-duty incident Crimes & Incidents, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, on Nov 30, 2012 at 10:45 am
A Palo Alto officer has been reprimanded and directed to seek counseling for allegedly failing to fully cooperate with the San Francisco Police Department after consuming alcohol and possibly contemplating suicide in a hotel room while off duty, according to a new report from Independent Police Auditor Michael Gennaco.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 30, 2012, 9:51 AM
Posted by Abe Mitchell, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Nov 30, 2012 at 11:22 am
Police have a life outwith policing duties, so if the man wants to take a drink let him. He must be old enough to consume alcohol and must fully realize the results of becoming inebriated through the same so let him alone and get on with his life He is a mannie and nae a loon!
Posted by Higher Standard, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Nov 30, 2012 at 11:28 am
Law Enforcement should certainly be held to a higher standard and it appears here they are. I may not completely agree that a reprimand is the exact level of trouble I would invoke but I'll assume they have all the facts.
It is certainly a higher standard though becuase whatever I do off duty, my employer never knows about.
The good news is it was handled and not swept under the rug. I hope more came with the reprimand.
Posted by My 2 cents, a resident of Stanford, on Nov 30, 2012 at 11:46 am
If a non-law enforcement person can be arrested for public intoxication, the same rules should apply for law enforcement. If it were a civilian, they would not have been "evaluated" until after they were arrested. They would not have been released to their boss/family either.
Most of these officers put themselves on a pedestal and treat citizens as if they are second class so I can totally see how he would get special treatment from his supervisors and the other law enforcement agencies. What a crock of poo!
Posted by Bob, a resident of Mountain View, on Nov 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm
I certainly believe that the police should beheld to a stricter standard as they have guns and badges. Please remember also that they see only the worst in the community they serve. Regardless of how well trained and psychologically evaluated they may be, the day to day exposure to the worst elements in our communities can have its effects. They are only human and have their breaking points. Aspiring to be a law enforcement officer is a high calling but it exacts a toll and if this or any other officer can no longer meet the necessary standards, they should step down.
Posted by K, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Nov 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm
No one knows the stress of being a policeman except policemen. They work in extraordinary circumstances and pressures. They are human and so affected by their work at times. They especially need good mental health benefits. I hope this man gets some help. The police did the right thing.
Posted by neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 30, 2012 at 12:44 pm
"very intoxicated" is a meaningful statement. Drinking and driving is a SERIOUS ISSUE, folks. If this policeman drives a car as part of his job (as I assume many police officers have to do), then I am super concerned with his judgement, in addition to whatever other personal issues he may have, suicide included (from the above). A police car going at high speed can kill innocent citizens, and we want such vehicles operated by people with their heads on straight. I feel police officers do need to be held to a higher standard. We all face stress and problems, we are all sorry for that, but not all of us have carte blanche to speed at 100 in a chase or for whatever reason.
Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of the Fairmeadow neighborhood, on Nov 30, 2012 at 2:41 pm
Missing from this Weekly article is whether this officer's reprimand (presumably written) will be expunged from his file after five years? If so, this reprimand ultimately won't be worth the paper it's current written on.
Posted by Wayne, a member of the Walter Hays School community, on Nov 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm
My 2 Cents: "Most of these officers put themselves on a pedestal and treat citizens as if they are second class so I can totally see how he would get special treatment from his supervisors and the other law enforcement agencies. What a crock of poo!"
I doubt if you have met "most of these Officers" let alone talked to more than one or two. I doubt if you know the "special treatment" he got. A typical example of a blogger denigrating the police without information - just prejudice.
Most of the comments are reasoned and recognize the difficult work the police do. This doesn't excuse any misconduct, however.
Posted by Misha, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 30, 2012 at 11:47 pm
Terry ~ please have some feeling for this officer who like anyone else with mental or emotional health issues needs love and support, and not be treated with unfounded fear. Please be aware that comments such as you posted further the stigma that prevents people from getting the professional help they need. Have a little compassion.
Posted by Anony, a resident of the University South neighborhood, on Dec 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm Anony is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Yes this any law enforcement officer should be held to a standard and it sounds like PAPD is doing the right thing by holding their employee to this. I'm not sure the benefit of sharing this in the media however. I'm glad that the Officer is getting the assistance that he needs. Publicizing it may not be the best thing, the last thing he likely needs is judgment from the community that likely have no real idea of what it is like to work in law enforcement. If he is able to deal with his issues and get better, he can return to being an asset to the PAPD. I wish him the best.