San Jose police officers string of allegations from meth to masturbation
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A San Jose police officer is on administrative leave after he allegedly traded a meth pipe to a woman in exchange for information, the latest in a string of misconduct allegations against officers in the department.
The alleged incident happened late last year and the unidentified officer has been on leave since December.
San Jose police Sgt. Christian Camarillo told KTVU on Thursday that the incident is a personnel matter and that he could not go into the specifics of the case, but it has been under investigation.
This incident comes as the police department investigates several other instances of criminal behavior among officers, which includes sexual misconduct, a deadly fentanyl overdose and alcohol abuse.
"We have a serious problem in SJPD," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. "It requires remedial action immediately."
Liccardo, a former prosecutor, added, "Nothing angers a good cop more than a bad cop, and I know that the overwhelming majority of officers in this department are furious as I am."
Sgt. Sean Pritchard, president of the police union said, "We really need to take a hard look at our hiring standards or our backgrounding process."
Pritchard said, "Some of these are absolutely very serious criminal allegations and again, if they're proven to be true then these individuals do not belong in law enforcement."
Last week, San Jose police Chief Anthony Mata said at a news conference that an officer was on leave for drinking alcohol on the job last month during the search for a 3-month-old baby who had been kidnaped. The child was found unharmed the following day.
Mata also said another officer was under investigation for allegations of sexual misconduct.
The chief walked that officer, Matthew Dominguez out of the department on Thursday.
Dominguez was arrested and charged by prosecutors with misdemeanor indecent exposure. Police say he exposed himself to several female relatives of a mentally-ill man during a disturbance call.
Last month, it turned out that San Jose rookie officer DeJon Packer died of substance abuse related to fentanyl toxicity, the Santa Clara County medical examiner told KTVU.
Packer, 24, a former running back with San Jose State University's football team, was found dead at his home in Milpitas on March 13.
KTVU legal analyst Michael Cardoza said, "They are susceptible to all the evils in the world, just as we all are, and what happens when they become a police officer, they are held to a higher standard."
At a news conference last week, Mata said that he was "disappointed" with the criminal behavior of those in his department and it won't be tolerated.
"I reiterate - when an officer violates the public’s trust, they will be held accountable," Mata said. "When an officer is convicted of criminal conduct, I will personally walk them out the door."