Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Abusing the public trust

Remember this story about a San Antonio police officer who faked an emergency call to a woman's house so he could check her out?

It seems to be much worse than just that.
A San Antonio police officer accused of using a city computer to glean a woman's personal information and then staging an emergency response to her house has been fired after an investigation revealed he boasted about other women on his patrol car terminal and pulled their personal data as well, according to Police Department records.

After 14 years on the force with no suspensions, Officer Gabriel Villarreal, 43, was indefinitely suspended last week, a punishment tantamount to being fired.

A second patrolman, 10-year veteran Officer Keith Floyd, 41, was found to have exchanged “crude, suggestive (and) disparaging” remarks about women with Villarreal via his patrol car terminal and was suspended Friday for 15 days without pay, police records state.

Assistant City Attorney Robert Reyna said another officer faces a possible 30-day suspension in connection with the same case.

The violations involve at least seven women and occurred through October, November and December 2009, according to the city's findings, which allege the following:

For “personal” reasons, Villarreal researched the criminal history of an apartment manager in his patrol district. In conversations via car terminals, Villarreal and another officer referred to the woman by “nicknames for her breasts.”

Villarreal and another officer also held an “extended” electronic conversation about two other women in which “a comment is passed back and forth about whether (Villarreal) ‘knocked' or ‘knocked it out,' referring to sex.”

(from the Express-News)

And there's more that's even creepier. Sounds like Chief McManus has a lot of housecleaning to do.


Dave said...

New meaning to the "Policeman's Ball".

Technically, I think the union will probably consider this taking advantage of an officer's in-house dating service.

I'm a supporter of our department and our Chief, but these guys are simply making it tougher and tougher to support them.

The good guys have got to start turning on the bad guys.

Albatross said...

Dave, I'm with you on this. I support the police (and fire fighters, and EMTs, and members of the military, and generally any other person who puts their life on the line for others), and I realize that police officers are people, too, and there always will be some bad guys on the force. But the PD needs to get a handle on this sort of behavior quickly (and I don't mean just covering it up) or the average law-abiding citizen will start to lose faith in the blue.

How can you trust your local police officer to adequately investigate real crime and real problems when he is making up fake emergencies just so he can get a gander at your boobs and the inside of your house? And why the hell should any officer in the street have access to anybody's Social Security Number? And don't these guys realize that their electronic messages are public record and can be obtained by anyone who asks for them?

This is horrible behavior, and it cannot go without being addressed by the chief.

And one more thing: $1000 razors!???!!!?




A Patriot said...

Cops are people too, but what they do on the job has grater public implications than your averave fry cook. I am saddened when i hear of officers behaving like this but i take great relief from the notion that this goes on with remarkable rarity.
Your average cop has enough leverage to make most folk's lives a living hell if they chose to. Without this power, they'd be ineffective against those they should be acting upon. I am so grateful that the overall majority of them use this power the right way.