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Palo Alto officer reprimanded for off-duty incident

Original post made on Nov 30, 2012

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

Comments (22)

Posted by gcoladon, a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 30, 2012 at 10:45 am

gcoladon is a registered user.

Poor guy's got some issues. I hope things work out for him.


Posted by KP, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 30, 2012 at 10:47 am

People need to realize....Cops are human too.
Everyone has issues, we all just have to learn to deal with them.


Posted by resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Nov 30, 2012 at 10:54 am

Cops are human too, but they have to be held to a higher standard when they have a badge and gun. I hope the city's health care program is taking care of this man.


Posted by Abe Mitchell, a resident of Meadow Park
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 College Terrace
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 Barron Park
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 Fairmeadow
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 resident of Walter Hays School
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 Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 30, 2012 at 6:55 pm


Very troubling-he/she should be off the PAPD force and denied the ability to own a gun.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

We hope not-drunken/drugged PAPD officers who have lethal weapons and badges should be fired and denied any future possession of guns by state and federal law


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 30, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Oh yes Sharon!! Clearly it's the Copocalypse!


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 30, 2012 at 10:55 pm

OK if this guy is unnamed for now, but if he is reinstated, then we should know who he is... so we can protect ourselves.


Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford
on Nov 30, 2012 at 11:37 pm

You never know what inner demons people have, no matter what their occupation. Good thoughts for him - I hope he'll be okay.


Posted by Misha, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I hope that this officer is getting the help and support he seems to need and that his issues are not being addressed only as a disciplinary matter but a matter of health and well-being.


Posted by Misha, a resident of Midtown
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 Schlopp, a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 1, 2012 at 10:58 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by remember, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Dec 1, 2012 at 11:23 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by remember, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Dec 1, 2012 at 11:29 am

His name can be dug out easily through Freedom of Information Act. He probably had done something so horrible he can't handle the guilt.


Posted by Caught between Love of Power and Guilt, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Dec 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Anony, a resident of University South
on Dec 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Anony is a registered user.

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.


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