Chief William Lansdowne answers questions after several San Diego police officers are accused of crimes.
San Diego's police chief answered some tough questions Thursday after a series of incidents involving officers on the wrong side of the law.
Chief William Lansdowne says, other than losing an officer, this past month has been one of the more difficult to deal with.
"We take every complaint that we get seriously. We have not a lot of control over a person's individual actions when they're not here in the department working for us because there's no supervision," said Lansdowne.
Several San Diego police officers have been accused of various crimes over the past few months.
"When officers commit acts of misconduct and are charged with criminal events, it's certainly an embarrassment to the police department, but it's certainly not indicative of the great work the officers have done for the past 122 years here in the city of San Diego," said Lansdowne.
Veteran San Diego police sergeant Sgt. Ken Davis is accused of stalking a female officer and repeatedly harassing her with unwanted phone calls and other contact.
Davis was formally charged in February with one felony and three misdemeanor charges: felony stalking and repeated harassing by phone or electronic contact.
Davis pleaded not guilty, and the judge has allowed him to remain free on his own recognizance.
He’s on paid administrative duty.
"We took it to the District Attorney. They have decided to issue a criminal complaint and we have a criminal investigation, and that can lead from reprimand to termination," said Lansdowne about the case.
Officer Anthony Arevalos, 40, an 18-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department, faces multiple charges for accused sexual battery, false imprisonment and assault under the color of authority stemming from traffic stops between 2009 and 2011.
NBC San Diego asked Landsdowne why the officer was still on the street after the department received more than one complaint.
"Well, let me tell you that we did not get multiple complaints. When we did get the second complaint, we investigated it. We were able to put a case together, which we took to the district attorney and that case was charged," said Lansdowne.
A San Diego police officer, whose name has not been released, is under investigation for allegedly causing a traffic accident in Serra Mesa while intoxicated and fleeing the scene on Feb. 22.
CHP officers said the reporting driver told emergency dispatchers she believed she “was just hit by a DUI driver.”
The case has been referred to the District Attorney’s office for further review.
And another SDPD officer, who was accused of raping a Point Loma Nazarene University student, resigned in March citing personal reasons.
The unidentified officer had already been suspended without pay after the accusation was made.
"We've caught these cases. They've been brought to our attention. We've done the absolute right thing. We've taken them to the district attorney and they're working on criminal complaints. It is exactly what we should do," said Lansdowne.
The entire department is being refreshed on the department's ethics policy, according to Lansdowne.
"I remind people all the time, these are not machines and robots that police the city. These are real people with real issues and problems they deal with everyday," said Lansdowne. “But we catch it and we investigate it and we take the proper action. Nobody is immune to the law.”