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PA cop disciplined after reaction to traffic ticket

Original post made on Jul 9, 2008

A Palo Alto police supervisor has been disciplined because of how he reacted when given a traffic ticket in another city. Police Chief Lynne Johnson declined to say who the officer was, although she said it was a sergeant.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 9, 2008, 10:41 AM

Comments (16)

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Posted by trudy
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 9, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Should have been fired. Doesn't belong on any police force. If he goes nuts like this with a fellow officer who calls him on breaking the law, what's he going to do with a private citizen, who has no recourse.

We should have a new police chief, too. One who knows what acceptable character is in police officers.


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Posted by Suzie
a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2008 at 12:11 pm

I agree with Trudy. The officer has anger issues and lack of self control.
He should have been fired. We don't need problem officers in any police department....should not be tolerated ever.


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Posted by Above the law?
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 9, 2008 at 12:28 pm

this behavior is not for the police--police everywhere feel they are above the law.
Look at the scandal brewing in San Jose--where a women investigator for the DA's office (and former police officer) who has many relatives in the SJPD was not charged with drunk driving and causing a 3 car crash.


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Posted by Above the law?
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 9, 2008 at 12:46 pm

From the article:

"Johnson was outraged about how the story was portrayed in the Wednesday edition of the Daily Post, which had a headline of "Cop went nuts over ticket" with a subhead, "Supervisor wanted special treatment."

"It was a total exaggeration," Johnson said. "It's very infuriating."


Let's see :
"the sergeant "used profanity, made derogatory remarks about the officer's skills and stated that the officer would not receive any help or professional courtesy if he found himself in distress in Palo Alto in the future," Gennaco and Miller wrote."

Johnson feels that the officer did not go nuts and did not demand special treatment??


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Posted by Resident
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2008 at 7:07 pm

The very significant comment by Chief Johnson that everyone seems to have overlooked is: "Headlines and stories like this are what makes it really hard to recruit for police officers. Why do I want to go be a police officer when the media isn't objective in their reporting?" Johnson asked.

The Palo Alto Police Department like all Cities in the Bay Area is short staffed; this is significant because it is becoming harder and harder to recruit the kind of Police Officers the residents of Palo Alto expect.


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Posted by pete
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 9, 2008 at 8:28 pm

There seems to be more to the story than reported in the press. The officer did not ask for special treatment (Johnson), and the two officers knew each other (Brown). It sounds like a personality clash that got out of hand.

This does not excuse the PA supervisor from what he did. For that he has been disciplined and apologized. With more than 60,000 citizen contacts each year and only about 20 complaints, the department is doing a good job in holding its officers to a high standard in a very stressful job.


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Posted by TJ
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 10, 2008 at 7:34 am

Trudy you say: "Should have been fired". Are you aware that it takes almost $100,000 to recruit, put a police candidate through the Police Academy, then have them ride around with another Police Office (the process is called the FTO program), all this takes nearly a year. Also, the prospective candidate must be paid for that year.

This is a huge investment in each new recruit for our City. PA can't afford to fire him, however, he has been disciplined.


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Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2008 at 2:58 pm

TJ, he will cost this city and the citizens more than 100k, when he kills or beats someone.

And lets not forget all the damage someone like this can do too peoples lives.

Its called being a PROFESSIONAL Police Officer or firefighter. YOU GET PAID TO DO YOUR JOB, GET PAID TO STAY in control. Period!

Also looks real go to the lower ranking police Officer? Think!
Oh and a cop is a cop 24 hrs a day. 365 days a year. firefighters also.


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Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Pete 20 complaints?. How many do you think someone else looking into how this city's police department is run would come up with.

Do you really think the City will/would tell the truth or do a real investigation?

BS in BS out. standard city of palo alto report or investigation.


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Posted by Grace
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2008 at 3:33 pm

"Oh and a cop is a cop 24 hrs a day. 365 days a year. firefighters also."
It's a nice sounding motto, but I believe that our police officers and firefighters are mere mortals. They should be allowed a mistake or two in their off-duty out-of-uniform lives.
From some of the comments here, Palo Alto is beginning to feel like a lynch-mob waiting for action.


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Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Grace. Where is the line. A mistake or two. Any mistake. How about fair treatment for all?

Hey if Pat Briggs shows you her gun, can she get her job and good name back? Hey its only a mistake?

A motto for you. That is what makes the differance. Some live by their Motto and others, A heart and soul.

MOTTO is what you get in PALO ALTO. Like its a matter of pride. That is a motto.

Can you see anything to be proud of?


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Posted by Grace
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2008 at 11:13 pm

"Some live by their Motto and others, A heart and soul."
Exactly. So you go ahead and live your "cop's a cop 24 hours" motto and I'll live with a forgiving heart and soul. I give the men & women who put their lives on the line to protect us in Palo Alto the benefit of the doubt, especially when only half-facts are available. You can join - or lead - the lynch mob if that's where you find your glee. I'll sit it out, thank you very much.


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Posted by Tim
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 11, 2008 at 8:02 am

Nice. Lets fired the cop who had a bad day, but keep Ms. Briggs who rip off the city and didn't follow polices.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by good thing
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2008 at 8:14 am

"YOU GET PAID TO DO YOUR JOB, GET PAID TO STAY in control. Period!"

guess its right then, you are no longer employed here.


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Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2008 at 8:31 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by just thinkin'
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 11, 2008 at 4:20 pm

And since we all know the police routinely lie, the report about the behavior of a police officer, done by a police officer is totally correct, and equally as bogus.


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