San Diego Police Training Against Misconduct Examined

After recent allegations of officer misconduct, NBC 7 took a closer look at what their training entails

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    NEWSLETTERS

    After two scandals involving police officers in the past year, NBC 7's Rory Devine takes a closer look at the training and resources available to San Diego Police officers. (Published Monday, Feb 10, 2014)

    It’s been a tough time for the San Diego Police Department, and despite efforts to make changes, it may seem the situation is not any better.

    In 2011, lurid details of stunning misconduct toward women sent former police officer Anthony Arevelos to prison.

    Now, currect Officer Christopher Hays is facing accusations of sexual misconduct. 

    Last March, Chief William Lansdowne explained what was being done to prevent more officer misconduct.

    “We’ve put a lot of resources in to make sure we strengthen the department,” he said.

    The changes included faster and more thorough investigations of alleged wrong doing, better training, a hotline to report misconduct and a special "wellness unit" to help officers get counseling before problems happen.

    “It should be no different than walking into payroll to check the number of payroll deductions you have for tax purposes, or walking into our operational support office and asking for a flashlight battery. We’re another resource,” said Captain Sarah Creighton in March.

    Psychologist Michael Mantel said Monday one cannot wait for officers to ask for help. The training must be given to everyone, and it must be preventative.

    When asked, the SDPD did not explain how the training is conducted.

    Former City Councilwoman Donna Frye who was instrumental in exposing the allegations against former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, said when it comes to police officers assaulting women, it is not about training.

    “If they need training to understand that it is wrong, they have no business being in office, or working as a police officer or in any other capacity in this city,” she said.

    Interim Mayor Todd Gloria released this statement that reads, "While I ask all San Diegans to report any concerning activity they witness or experience so we can maintain a high quality public safety force, I must also state emphatically that Mr. Hays and Mr. Arevelos are anomalies in the San Diego Police Department. Our officers are upstanding citizens committed to the safety of our community. I have spoken with Chief Lansdowne about the current allegations against Mr. Hays and am confident in the Department's training and investigation protocols."

    No one from the police department would comment on the issue.