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PPB Captain gets driver’s license suspended as part of reckless driving, DUI charges

Posted by on December 7th, 2018 at 1:38 pm

(Image: KATU)

On June 28th just before 2:00 am, off-duty Portland Police Bureau Captain Steven Jones was arrested for DUI after crashing his city-issued SUV in the Lair Hill neighborhood. A witness reported that Jones was driving “at a high rate of speed” on SW 3rd Avenue near Arthur when he lost control and veered onto the median, crashing into a light pole and a tree.

Cpt. Jones, a 23-year veteran of the bureau who was in charge of the Professional Standard Division, was driving with a blood alcohol content of .10.

“As law enforcement officers, we are held to a higher standard,” PPB Chief Danielle Outlaw said in a statement after the incident. “This will be thoroughly investigated.”

Today, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office said Jones has completed a diversion program for his DUI charge. He filed a plea of “no contest” to reckless driving charges on December 5th. As part of his plea agreement Jones has agreed to pay $38,239 in restitution to the City of Portland and has received one year of probation and a three-month suspension of his driving privileges. Once he completes the probation his reckless driving charges will be dismissed.

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This is very troubling.

At the end of every PPB statement about a major injury or fatal crash, is this line:

The Portland Police Bureau is committed to working with our partners in government and the community to create safer streets and work towards reducing, and eventually eliminating, traffic fatalities as part of Vision Zero.

There’s something very wrong with PPB culture when one of their leaders thinks it’s acceptable to drink alcohol then get into a car and drive it recklessly through our city. We’re relieved no one was hurt or killed by Jones’ selfish and irresponsible behavior. We can only hope he’s learned an important lesson and that he’ll devote himself to raising awareness about the serious and rampant driving abuse epidemic in our city.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

101 Comments
  • Racer X December 7, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    It would be great if the Mayor / PPB made him a feature of a PSA…even cops make mistakes and can work to be better…etc.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • buildwithjoe December 8, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      Great idea to do a video to help us feel better about cops

      Video for police DUI sympathy can include:


      a) cop got so much special treatment never given to non cops:
      b) Cop was given a “special” judge,
      c) DUI charges lowered to non DYI charges
      d) all charges will be removed soon for a class,
      e) cop is on paid leave for 15 months
      f) while on paid leave he approaches his 25 year retirement goal 15 more months
      g) he will “resign” and get a fat check every month for not working.
      h) Never any jail time

      That 23k payback for a wrecked city car is pennies to this cop, I bet he has a 2nd coast home.

      Recommended Thumb up 24

      • Matt S. December 10, 2018 at 8:56 am

        I’m sure the captain isn’t going to be terminated, but you can bet that it’s practically ruined his career. You know every officer is chatting about him behind his back. Yeah, great career: 24 years he drove drunk and smashed his bureau car. He was put on administrative leave, had to clean out his locker, and became a mockery of his coworkers. No matter how good his career was, he’ll always have an * before his name… His life work is in the tatters.

        If he goes to church, he has to hold his head down.
        If he has kids, he has to explain to them his shortcomings.
        Most likely, his neighbors will find out.
        His school teachers will find out.
        His kid’s friends may not be allowed to come over anymore.
        You can go on and on… I think this guy will pay for his wrong doings…

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • 9watts December 10, 2018 at 9:01 am

          That is a long, sad list of consequences.

          Here’s something to counter that:
          “Bureau of Justice Statistics survey reported that over one-third of responding state and local police agencies would consider police applicants with a prior DUI conviction (Reaves 2012).”

          (from the same report I quote below)

          Recommended Thumb up 5

        • Matt S. December 10, 2018 at 10:40 am

          Great, 33% of the police departments in the country would consider you a police candidate with a prior DUII conviction. But were talking about someone that’s already been sworn in, not an applicant.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Mike Quigley December 7, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    Sounds like you’d like to cut him some slack ’cause he’s a cop. What if he’d killed someone? Thoughts and prays for the victim as long as he promises not to do it again?

    Recommended Thumb up 15

    • Racer X December 9, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      No slack offered. The intent of such PSA is to show sunlight on this and the culture of “policing” in Portland.

      We (and the Mayor) must hold PPB Chief Danielle Outlaw to her statement:
      “As law enforcement officers, we are held to a higher standard,…” “This will be thoroughly investigated.” So far the path, such as diversion does not sound like a “higher standard”. Time will tell.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • soren December 7, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    We need to lower blood alcohol limits to 0.02. It should be illegal to drive after drinking any appreciable amount of alcohol.

    https://www.ntsb.gov/news/speeches/T-Bella-Dinh-Zarr/Documents/05BAC-Safety-Briefing-Facts.pdf

    Recommended Thumb up 19

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty December 7, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      While that PDF does support a reduction to 0.05, the data it presents suggests there is no gain to be had in going as low as 0.02. I am open to the idea that such data exists, but it’s not what this document shows.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Q December 7, 2018 at 3:09 pm

        Zero tolerance.

        Recommended Thumb up 8

      • soren December 7, 2018 at 6:04 pm

        please note the text box that indicates loss of visual acuity at 0.02. by setting the limit substantially lower than the level that results in serious impairment we make it clear that any level of impairment is not tolerated when operating dangerous heavy machinery.

        Recommended Thumb up 11

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty December 7, 2018 at 7:03 pm

          The text box does indeed note that, but the empirical data from NL and SE suggest that there is no real-life benefit to the lower standard.

          Recommended Thumb up 4

          • Middle of the Road Guy December 9, 2018 at 12:15 pm

            We might as well stop anyone from driving (or cycling for that matter) if they don’t have 20/20 vision.

            Recommended Thumb up 4

            • Q December 10, 2018 at 12:58 pm

              False equivalency..

              Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Matthew in PDX December 10, 2018 at 11:26 am

        For me, the reason to go to 0.02 is to send the message that it is not safe to operate a motor vehicle on public streets (or bicycles for that matter) after consuming any quantity of an intoxicating substance. When I was younger and lived in Australia, the PSAs focused on how few “drinks” it took to get you over the 0.05 limit, which is two “standard” drinks. The trouble is people would say, I’ve only had one drink, but that person’s metabolism might not be typical, and that drink may be larger than one “standard” drink.

        It is better to tell people “If you’re drinking, you’re not driving.” The 0.02 standard allows for the small amount of alcohol that is generated by the fermentation of sugars in the human gut.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • I wear many hats December 7, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Lower the BAC limit and put in check points already. This police person likely knew that there was only a 1% chance they’d get caught. There is literally NO deterrent to bad /dangerous/drunken driving.

    Recommended Thumb up 12

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty December 7, 2018 at 3:05 pm

      Checkpoints are unconstitutional in Oregon.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • John Lascurettes December 7, 2018 at 3:27 pm

        DUI Saturation Patrols (which are different) in Oregon are still legal. https://romanolawpc.com/oregon-dui-checkpoints/

        Recommended Thumb up 12

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty December 8, 2018 at 2:48 pm

          You are right; however “saturation patrols” are pretextual stops, for something minor like a tail light malfunction, when the real goal is to check if the driver is drunk.

          Pretextual stops are what creates problems with racial bias in traffic enforcement (ordinary enforcement does not show much), and while legal, are, in my view, ethically problematic.

          This is a classic means-ends type of tradeoff. I suspect many here support any means that achieves a desirable end. I tend to think the journey is as important as the destination.

          Recommended Thumb up 4

          • HJ December 8, 2018 at 4:02 pm

            Frankly I’m at the point where I don’t care. If you’re doing anything wrong while driving, you get a ticket. Period. I’m done with this leniency nonsense. IT’S KILLING AND MAIMING PEOPLE. Heck, send those saturation patrols up into the white rich entitlement zone (aka the west hills). We desperately need it up here. That’ll solve some of your bias issues. I’m sick and tired of having to resort to public shaming on Nextdoor as my only vaguely effective recourse to get people to change their behaviors on the roads I travel every day.
            34 years, I’ve never seen the traffic laws enforced up here. All the drivers in the area know it too and drive accordingly. Every day when I go to work, regardless of whether I’m driving or riding, I’m wondering if it will be the day that my luck runs out and I get slammed into head-first by a driver crossing centerline at 45+mph. Or by a driver deciding to execute a sandwich pass. Because there have been so many close calls.
            In fact, I’ll even go so far as to suggest a perfect pretext for them, license plate covers. They’re illegal and a surefire sign of a horrible driver.

            Recommended Thumb up 10

            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty December 8, 2018 at 4:18 pm

              It might be helpful to remember why we don’t have much traffic enforcement these days. Part of it is the lack of police, but a lot is due to the reaction to problems arising from pretextual stops.

              Recommended Thumb up 4

            • soren December 8, 2018 at 5:31 pm

              If we can add Eastmoreland, Irvington, Laurelhurst, and Ladd’s Addition to that list, I’m with you, comrade.

              “The life of a single human being is worth a million times more than all the property of the richest [person] on earth”

              — Ernesto Guevara

              Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 8, 2018 at 5:38 pm

                That’s right. Give the rich the full protection of the law, and let the poor kill one another in the streets.

                Recommended Thumb up 3

              • Middle of the Road Guy December 9, 2018 at 12:16 pm

                Che Guevara was a mass murderer. Not sure why you would use that quote.

                http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/michael-j-totten/truth-about-che-guevara

                Recommended Thumb up 4

              • soren December 9, 2018 at 5:59 pm

                as you know very well*, i believe the primary role of the “police” in this society is not to enforce the law but to keep rich people safe from the people they exploit and oppress (e.g. my comment was obvious sarcasm.)

                the idea that “enforcement” is necessary is also a perfect example of car head. MADD proposed mandatory ignition interlock systems decades ago. the main reason that these ~$50 devices are not be mandatory for all large motorvehicles is because we as a society consider 40,100 deaths to be “normal”.

                *because you’ve argued with me about this many times.

                Recommended Thumb up 5

          • John Lascurettes December 8, 2018 at 5:21 pm

            Oh, I agree; the pre-textual stops are worse from a public harassment standpoint, open to worse abuse. That OR is so averse to the stationary, and early and fair warning checkpoints is just bizarre to me. They are effective in bringing down drunk driving numbers, especially around holidays. I had a friend in college that got nabbed at one because he thought that if he turned around it would show his guilt and they’d come after him. So he went through and got caught anyway. Drunk people don’t always think their best.

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15276922

            Recommended Thumb up 2

            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty December 8, 2018 at 5:36 pm

              It makes perfect sense to me; the police are not supposed to conduct a “search” without individualized suspicion. I support that. I don’t want the police to have the unfettered right to stop and search whomever they like with no reason to suspect they’ve done wrong.

              You may not agree with that (which is fine, it’s a balancing act), but I don’t think you could argue the reasoning is “bizarre”.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

              • John Lascurettes December 8, 2018 at 6:38 pm

                The thing about sobriety checkpoints is that they’re voluntary as far as passing through them. You are warned about them before you enter the gauntlet of them — that’s the way they’re done in California anyway. So you have plenty chance to go around or turn away. There is no search going on, they simply stop everyone passing through if they’ve been drinking. It’s not much different than any state border crossing with an agricultural check where they stop to ask if you have fruit.

                Recommended Thumb up 4

              • John Lascurettes December 8, 2018 at 6:40 pm

                I used to regularly go around them as a young-adult driver, not because I had been drinking, but because I didn’t want it wasting my time and I didn’t want to deal with the hassle.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 8, 2018 at 8:31 pm

                It doesn’t matter what you or I think; the courts have ruled the Oregon constitution does not permit such stops.

                It’s a little different than a fruit stop because you don’t face arrest at those. They do seem a bit like the immigration checkpoints I’ve passed through in Texas, some distance from the border. Those appear to be legal for reasons I don’t fully understand.

                I think there are creative ways to conduct a sobriety evaluation without intruding on anyone’s rights; set up an obstacle course with barricades, or position yourself by a bend (like where Couch merges with Burnside), and watch for drivers who do not handle their vehicles well. Now you have a non pretextual reason to pull someone over on suspicion of being impaired.

                Or just do actual traffic enforcement and arrest anyone who turns out to be drunk.

                Recommended Thumb up 4

  • hotrodder December 7, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    I wear many hats
    This police person likely knew that there was only a 1% chance they’d get caught. Recommended 2

    Or if caught he’d be given safe, quiet passage home with a wink and a pat on the back and no citizen would be the wiser.

    Recommended Thumb up 21

    • Q December 7, 2018 at 3:44 pm

      Exactly, b/a% and checkpoints wouldn’t matter at all in this situation when cops clearly cover for each other anytime there’s wrongdoing that a private citizen would be facing jail over.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

    • B. Carfree December 7, 2018 at 9:52 pm

      In Lane County, our former DA decided to go to work for the state police. While on his training duty with another officer supervising him, he was called to a location where a drunk off-duty Eugene cop had thrown his gun at his date, which scared her silly. This former DA declined to get a BAC number for the drunk cop even though it was so clear he was driving drunk that the DA drove him home.

      This sort of behavior breeds incredible cynicism. We really need to tighten up our laws regarding drunk driving and the discretion cops have during suspected drunk driving stops.

      Recommended Thumb up 9

  • bikeninja December 7, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Here is an idea, Lets have drivers licenses that allow you to drive a motorcar and drinkers licenses that allow you to buy alcohol in a restaurant, bar or liquor store, but here is the catch, you can only get one or the other not both.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • matchupancakes December 7, 2018 at 7:27 pm

      If this were an alternate-reality, fiction novel I would buy the book to read based upon this description.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Middle of the Road Guy December 9, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      As long as I get to carry around my gun while doing either, I am fine with that 🙂

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Todd Boulanger December 7, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    All good ideas, but the first major step must be to get the frequent drink-driver offenders off the street…no more 10 strikes and you are out. Given some of the details in this case…I wonder if he has had other incidents that may have been kept from the public eye?

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • 9watts December 7, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    “… off-duty Portland Police Bureau Captain […] his city-issued SUV …”

    Why is he driving a city-issued vehicle at 2am while he is off-duty? Maybe this is standard practice, but it seems odd to me.

    Recommended Thumb up 14

    • paikiala December 9, 2018 at 11:13 am

      Ironically, because supervisors are on-call 24/7 in the event they are needed for an emergent situation. Not sure how you have a social life with such practices.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • 9watts December 9, 2018 at 11:25 am

        I was with you until you got to to the last part:
        “Not sure how you have a social life with such practices.”
        ?

        Recommended Thumb up 3

        • Matt S. December 10, 2018 at 8:22 am

          Because they’re always on call, can’t drink, go out of town, etc..

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • 9watts December 10, 2018 at 8:35 am

            No one is forced to choose to become a cop. If the package of perks and constraints is not to their liking then they should consider pursuing a different career.
            As for always being on call, my hunch is that like fire fighters and doctors and nurses, cops work in shifts, which means there are shifts when they are not on call.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

            • Matt S. December 10, 2018 at 11:44 am

              I agree, no one is forced to become a cop. My concern is a lot of these officers are addicted to the earning potential. They work their normal shifts, pick up OT, and then are on call. Some officers go weeks without a day off. It’s there own doing, but it’s also a failure of the system. I don’t know how common it is, but some cops will work a 20 hour shift, sleep at the precinct and then work another 20 hours. The money is good, but the psychological impact is long lasting and I imagine hard to cope with, even if it is their own doing… And then when they’re all done, they have a long car commute to boot.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Middle of the Road Guy December 9, 2018 at 12:19 pm

        That’s a good use of public equipment – he created an emergent situation with one.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • q December 8, 2018 at 11:09 am

    One question will be whether this experience will make him less tolerant of drunk drivers, or more sympathetic to and lenient towards them.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Buzz December 8, 2018 at 11:57 am

    If he wasn’t a cop he wouldn’t have gotten off this easy.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • paikiala December 9, 2018 at 11:15 am

      Evidence?
      Any citation evidence regarding, presumably, first (caught) offenders and their sentences?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Kristent December 12, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      From the article:
      “As part of his plea agreement Jones has agreed to pay $38,239 in restitution to the City of Portland and has received one year of probation and a three-month suspension of his driving privileges”

      I don’t think paying $38,239.00 in restitution as getting off too easy– plus one year probation and a 3-month suspension of his driving privileges.

      For a lot of people, $38,239.00 is a LOT of money.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • 9watts December 12, 2018 at 3:26 pm

        “For a lot of people, $38,239.00 is a LOT of money.”

        That is not terribly relevant. A lot of people are not being asked to pay that amount; this police captain is, and I bet the salary he has been receiving all these years, not to mention the pension he will get, is lot more impressive than the wages of those people you have in mind for whom that would be a lot of money.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • allciti December 8, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    It’s quite telling that a staffer in the mayor’s office was fired for driving a city vehicle home (and being less than forthcoming about it) but this officer still keeps his job.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty December 8, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      Is it equally telling that a city staffer might also be fired for bringing a loaded gun to work?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • paikiala December 9, 2018 at 11:16 am

      Police supervisors regularly bring home work vehicles, all over. County Sheriffs, etc.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Todd Boulanger December 10, 2018 at 4:05 pm

        Yes, this is a common “deal” across the nation – the original intent was to provide for quicker “professional” response time with police equipment at hand vs. having to go to their station…and secondarily as a “deterrent” to crime in the areas closest to the marked cop car when seen on the street by the bad hombres..

        [Honolulu has a bit different of a policy…most HPD cops use their personal cars that are outfitted with official police lights, etc. and then they get reimbursed for official use…thus making the car less expensive to own or allowing a more expensive high performance car to be bought affordably – my memory of the policy.]

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • buildwithjoe December 8, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Let me rewrite your headline.

    “Cops let other Drunk driving cops take a class, then get a clean record. DUI cop gets paid leave as they coast into the last 16 months of their retirement, then _resign_”


    In related story, pedestrian on sidewalk killed #BenCarlson and cops refuse to give traumatized driver any citations.

    This is the bike leadership in Portland. Bike Loud has leadership who say you need to politely work in the system. Street Trust is letting the state gain 10% deaths a year and the street trust literally calls ODOT billion dollar freeways built into middle school back yards….”much needed”

    …. And here on Bike Portland Jonathan is well aware that cops refused to cite a driver should have stopped and remain stopped for bikes on a “greenway”. The result was that a PSU student was mowed down, and cops say no “laws broken” Was there a story, was there any mention. Nope.

    This “no laws broken” quote is the exact same cop mantra we hear over and over with dead and injured cyclists and pedestrains. This quote from the city staff said when I demanded chargers for the killer of Ben Carlson.

    Everyone in transportation leadership in this town with the exception of Eudaly, Hardesty and a few rare PBOT staff should consider being a bit more loud and honest.

    .
    .
    .
    I’ve shifted my 10 dollar monthly subscription from Jonathan to a Portland Freedom Fund for getting poor people the bail freedom for people with privilege

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • paikiala December 9, 2018 at 11:18 am

      As with Buzz, please provide evidence this is not normal for first (caught) offenders.

      A good follow-up would be to find out if this is a first offence in this case.

      Expecting any person to be perfect is unrealistic.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • 9watts December 9, 2018 at 11:22 am

        “Expecting any person to be perfect is unrealistic”

        Classic.

        Expecting that everyone makes mistakes—including cops driving drunk—is not a society I’d be proud to be a part of.

        Recommended Thumb up 6

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty December 9, 2018 at 12:10 pm

          Apparently you do not want to live in a forgiving society. I do.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • 9watts December 9, 2018 at 12:15 pm

            Not sure how you derived that from my comment.

            I am all about forgiveness, but I’m about accountability, and holding ourselves to a high standard first. What paikiala suggested didn’t sound auspicious to me.

            Recommended Thumb up 4

            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty December 9, 2018 at 12:20 pm

              Expecting perfection is not the road to forgiveness. Understanding people, even officers of the law, are flawed and make mistakes is.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

              • 9watts December 9, 2018 at 12:25 pm

                I’m not following.
                If I follow your reasoning there would seem to be no reason to have any proscriptions, laws, penalties. Because everyone is flawed, prone to mistakes, so get over it.

                I don’t feel the need to apologize for having commandments, laws, behaviors that are proscribed. Driving drunk is easy not to do. for anyone, but especially someone whose job it is to nab those who fail to hold themselves to those standards. What is next, drunk airline pilots?

                Recommended Thumb up 4

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 9, 2018 at 12:39 pm

                I would seek the least intrusive, least punitive mechanism to prevent bad behavior (accounting for other factors such as proportionality). In some situations, this means execution. For others it means a warning or a stern talking-to. For most it means something in between.

                I don’t know what it means in this particular case because I have none of the larger context. But what I do know is that zero tolerance policies rarely yield optimal outcomes.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • 9watts December 9, 2018 at 12:58 pm

                Cops are granted enormous power in our society. And once upon a time they also were held in high esteem by some segments of society. They get enormous pensions, may speed and carry and use weapons, drive home tax payer funded four wheel drive vehicles, etc. Most people don’t receive or enjoy all those perks. With that package of goodies comes, or should come, a higher level of responsibility, accountability.
                My reason for objecting to paikiala’s straw man of nobody’s perfect is that such a blithe statement obfuscates these considerable differences, denies the power differentials underlying this system.

                Recommended Thumb up 9

            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty December 9, 2018 at 12:24 pm

              Let me clarify:

              >>> Expecting that everyone makes mistakes—including cops driving drunk—is not a society I’d be proud to be a part of. <<<

              You would not be proud of being in a society that expects everyone to make mistakes. Therefore, it stands to reason, you would only be proud to live in a society where at least some people never make mistakes. I.e. you would only be proud to live in a society where some people are "perfect".

              That's how I got from your statement to mine.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • 9watts December 9, 2018 at 12:39 pm

                How expansive is this category of mistakes? Where do you draw the line?
                I don’t think driving drunk is a mistake we should expect people in power to make. Do you expect airline pilots to OD on fentanyl while on the job? I prefer to think of the Rampart scandal as the aberrant behavior of murderous thugs rather than mistakes we should expect everyone to make.

                Recommended Thumb up 3

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 9, 2018 at 12:41 pm

                It would be foolish to think no pilot would ever take drugs on the job. The question is how to prevent it from happening.

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              • 9watts December 9, 2018 at 3:16 pm

                No need to pretend this is difficult.
                Zero tolerance (automatic firing if caught) and random testing.

                Just like we would if we took the challenge seriously.

                Plenty of people manage to keep it together, avoid drugs, drive sober, not abuse women, minorities, pets, children, manage not to murder those around them. Let’s give the prestigious jobs which require top performance, full concentration, no errors, to those who can do that, and not reward those who can’t by making excuses, giving them lots of chances.

                Recommended Thumb up 3

              • Matt S. December 10, 2018 at 8:33 am

                Remember, he was in charge of the Professional Standards Division. I don’t know how professional it is to drink on the job. Most likely he was on call the night he was drinking, given that he wrecked his bureau issued vehicle… And if he wasn’t on call, maybe he should have been driving his personal vehicle.

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              • 9watts December 10, 2018 at 9:16 am

                It is stated very clearly above that he was OFF DUTY.
                If he was on call, the chances of him being fired for smashing the police vehicle while drunk go up considerably.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Matt S. December 10, 2018 at 10:45 am

                This is conjecture, but if he was in a bureau car, had a gun and badge on his hip, he might as well been on duty. Alcohol and a sidearm don’t mix. He should have been in his personal vehicle, with his sidearm and badge left at home… Maybe they were, but he was still in his bureau car.

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          • 9watts December 9, 2018 at 12:18 pm

            Put another way, I think there is a world of difference between the straw man of
            Expecting everyone to be perfect, and
            Expecting our police force to never, ever drive drunk. I don’t think that is too much to ask. We should also expect them to never murder anyone, or to beat their spouses. Many, I’m tempted to say most, people manage to abide by those rules. Why can’t we have zero tolerance for cops violating those expectations?

            Recommended Thumb up 4

            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty December 9, 2018 at 12:22 pm

              I expect that there will be officers who occasionally drive drunk, beat their spouses, and commit murder. How could it be otherwise?

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              • 9watts December 9, 2018 at 12:40 pm

                Do you engage in those activities? I certainly don’t, nor would I expect anyone around me to tolerate much less expect those acts from me.

                Recommended Thumb up 6

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 9, 2018 at 12:43 pm

                I do not, and if I did, I would not expect tolerance. Nor would I grant it.

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              • X December 12, 2018 at 7:49 pm

                Just as there are recent immigrants, ditto.

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      • resopmok December 9, 2018 at 8:15 pm

        I don’t think the point is whether anyone is perfect, but that it is reasonable to hold officers of the law to a higher standard when it comes to committing serious crimes. Driving drunk is not really a mistake, it’s a willful decision which puts the lives of others in danger. We expect that those who have sworn to protect the law and public safety would make better decisions, and if they don’t, should be held to a higher standard of accountability.

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  • HJ December 8, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    In charge of the professional standards division. So the cop policing the police. And we wonder why we have problems? When the cop that’s supposed to be the shining example of adherence to laws even in law enforcement is doing stuff like this we can’t expect that the regular cops will enforce the laws of the roads either. Our entire law enforcement structure needs a complete overhaul where our road laws are concerned. Step 1, start actually enforcing them. No more letting people off with a warning, no more skipping enforcing them altogether because of concerns over “bias”. No more turning a blind eye. People are dying. People are being severely and often permanently injured. It feels like Russia where the only way you can get a driver cited/charged is by taking video evidence to court yourself. This is insane. We do not need to stoop to Russian standards. This is America, we should be better.
    Believe me, when your loved one gets killed because of this you’ll be singing the same tune I am.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty December 8, 2018 at 4:21 pm

      Even where people have called the police on miscreants doing things like parking across crosswalks, they are attacked as racist.

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      • X December 8, 2018 at 11:04 pm

        That was a strange little incident. Most of the people getting away with lousy parking are white. It’s no wonder that members of one our most put-upon minorities felt, well, put-upon, and played the R card.

        Lots of our ancestors came on a stinking boat but they weren’t chained down in the dark and brutally forced to work for free with no hope for their children, their children’s children. . .even their children with a person that our laws gave power to do whatever a lash could compel. Hell yeah, I’d still have my back up if that was me.

        Maybe the person calling in the parking violation didn’t know whose car it was, but pushback from somebody who has lousy odds of being shot dead in an encounter with police is NOT a sign of the apocalypse.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty December 9, 2018 at 1:29 am

          You’re trying pretty hard to make an unconvincing defense of someone who was 100% in the wrong, not to mention all those who piled on. But regardless, I agree, it’s not a sign of the apocalypse.

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          • X December 12, 2018 at 7:46 pm

            Bad parking, and illegal parking, is a very common entitled behavior of car drivers of all descriptions. It usually passes without comment. Take a 20 minute cruise through your neighborhood and count the number of cars parked facing traffic. It’s not surprising that a person who is observably a member of a minority felt singled out.

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  • 9watts December 9, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Interesting:

    “If an officer is convicted of a DUI while on duty it will almost always result in termination, primarily because drinking while on duty is considered grounds for revocation of an officer’s certification or violation of the officer’s employment contract. (In some cases, the officer is decommissioned, which means that the officer’s certification to be a police officer is terminated.) Often, an officer in such a situation will resign rather than face the disciplinary consequences”

    https://dui.drivinglaws.org/resources/what-happens-when-a-police-officer-gets-dui.htm

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    • Matt S. December 10, 2018 at 8:43 am

      But he’s not an officer, he’s a captain.

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      • 9watts December 10, 2018 at 9:18 am

        Can you explain how you feel his rank affects the statement to which you’re responding? Do you think it invalid, and if so why?

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        • Matt S. December 10, 2018 at 10:34 am

          Yes, I’m suggesting his rank has something to do with him keeping his job, unfortunately.

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  • 9watts December 9, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    More:

    “A survey of police drunk-driving incidents and academic research shows a patchwork effort to tackle the problem: Some departments offer no room for a second chance, while others are more lenient. The extent of the problem is not known since state and federal agencies do not track drunk-driving incidents involving police.

    Some departments, such as the Los Angeles Police Department, in recent years have told officers convicted of drunk driving charges that they have to sign a contract promising to stay sober and seek professional help if they want to keep their job, according to a 2012 Police Executive Research Forum article.

    Police in Tampa, Fla., have no recourse after a zero-tolerance policy for officers arrested on drunk driving charges was imposed in 2009.”

    “From 2005-2010, a nationwide study led by Stinson found 14 cases of police officers arrested for drunk driving who had been charged at least twice. That, however, is a fraction of the 782 incidents of police officers arrested for drunk driving the researchers tracked over that time frame – accidents that included 191 injuries, 91 cases of officers fleeing the scene, 26 times when officers flipped cars and 27 murder or manslaughter charges.

    ‘I would suggest there is a problem with police officers who drive drunk,’ said Stinson, whose data were published in a paper in 2013. ‘The problem is based on the police subculture and the sense of power and entitlement that some police officers have.'”

    https://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2015/04/linden_police_wrong-way_driving_case_part_of_a_nat.html

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    • Matt S. December 10, 2018 at 8:47 am

      Or it’s because the job is extremely stressful and depressing. As an officer, almost all you do is worry about your safety and have negative interactions.

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      • 9watts December 10, 2018 at 8:56 am

        “almost all you do is worry about your safety and have negative interactions.”

        Pretty unfortunate that we have gotten ourselves to that point, isn’t it?

        It wouldn’t have to be that way. Cops the world over don’t automatically have terrible rapport with the public they are supposed to protect. We in this country took specific steps that landed us/them in that spot.

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  • 9watts December 10, 2018 at 8:53 am

    Matt S.
    Because they’re always on call, can’t drink, go out of town, etc..Recommended 0

    I think it is actually much worse than that.

    I found this study absolutely fascinating: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=crim_just_pub

    including this section:

    Scholars have recognized excessive drinking as a problem among police officers for over three decades. Studies conducted in the 1970s and 1980s estimated that as many as 25% of officers have serious problems with alcohol (Dishlacoff 1976, Hurrell, Jr. et al. 1984, Violanti et al. 1985, Dietrich and Smith 1986). Van Raalte (1979) found that 40% of surveyed officers had used alcohol while on duty (cf. Barker and Carter 1994, Mieczkowski 2002). Some have recently pointed out the methodological limitations of these early studies (see , e.g., Lindsay and Shelley 2009, Ballenger et al. 2011); but, more recent research that involves large samples of officers seems to corroborate the conclusion that excessive alcohol consumption is often “part of the police lifestyle” (Violanti 1999, p. 16).
    Richmond et al. (1998) examined the lifestyle behaviors of 852 police officers and found that almost one-half (48%) of male officers and two-fifths (40%) of female officers “consumed alcohol excessively including continuous hazardous or harmful consumption and binge drinking.” (p. 1729). Davey, Obst, and Sheehan (2001) found that almost one-third (30%) of 749 responding officers were at risk of harm from excessive alcohol consumption. Ballinger et al. (2011) reported relatively high rates of binge drinking (five-plus drinks on a single occasion) among a large sample of urban police, with 37% of male officers and 36% of female officers reporting at least one episode of binge drinking within the prior 30 day period. Roughly 8% of police reported levels of drinking that indicated “probable lifetime alcohol abus e or dependence” (p. 25), and more than 3% reported consuming more than 28 drinks within the prior week. Alcohol abuse has also been associated with many forms of police misconduct, and re cent studies on problem officers provide descriptions of cases that involve intoxicated police engaged in various forms of misbehavior and crime (Kane and White 2009, Stinson, Liederbach, et al. 2012).

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    • Todd Boulanger December 10, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      Thanks for this line of research I was not well aware of.

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      • 9watts December 10, 2018 at 3:59 pm

        Nor I.
        The things one learns—is motivated to investigate—by hanging out here…

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  • Joe December 11, 2018 at 11:21 am

    so LAME, all about money and power.. I hardly trust one cops these days.

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