Deputy Placed On Desk Duty for Doing Her Job
Monday night Deputy Abigail Rios saw a vehicle that had been reported as stolen. The vehicle sped off and the deputy asked for and received permission to engage in a chase. The chase ended when the suspect crashed into another vehicle. The suspect was taken into custody and the property was recovered.
While Deputy Rios was booking in the suspect she was informed she was being placed on administrative duty. According to the letter put out by DSABC president Jeremy Payne, this action was because of the chase.
Poor Leadership Takes a Toll
Can you imagine how demoralizing that must have been for Deputy Rios? She did everything she was supposed to do. She followed her training and now she is being punished for it. No one was hurt and the people who were in the car that was hit did not want to file charges. According to KENS 5, the Sheriff’s Office released the following statement,
“The Patrol Deputy involved in the yesterday’s pursuit has been placed on Administrative Duty – which is not discipline – due to an ongoing administrative review of her recent pursuit that involved a crash and minor injuries to some of the occupants. This is coupled with an unrelated incident that has resulted in ongoing investigations by the Internal Affairs and Public Integrity Units.”
What a load of crap. Everyone knows that being put on administrative duty is being punished even if it is not one of the levels of discipline. And that bit about “an unrelated incident” sounds ominous. It sure sounds like they are making the current situation “fit” their narrative because they actually wanted to go after her on something else but didn’t have enough to do it.
Why Do I Say Insecurities?
I firmly believe that Javier Salazar knows he’s a failure at his job. He and his administration are constantly looking for anything they can latch onto to try to make Salazar look good. The current situation stems from an incident that happened in October of 2019. In that incident, deputies chased an individual who ended up crashing their vehicle. Chase over. Everything done. Person taken into custody. While the crash site was being handled someone, who was probably rubbernecking the scene, hit a police car, shoving it forward, pinning a SAPD officer, causing extensive damage to his leg.
Chief McManus blamed the BCSO for the injury to his officer. I admire McManus and I do not admire Salazar but McManus was wrong and we even wrote an article saying he was wrong. It was a crash scene. It could have been any crash scene. It didn’t have to be one that resulted due to a chase. The chase was long since over. The injury was not the fault of the BCSO. But Salazar knows that McManus is respected so he immediately said there would be a change in policy. Okay. Fine. Tighten up the chase policy. Nothing wrong with that.
But there is something wrong with an officer doing her job, getting permission to engage in a chase and then being slammed for it. They didn’t even let her finish booking him in jail and we haven’t heard that policy was violated but if it was, then shouldn’t it be her supervisor who gets disciplined, not her? She was called into the administration offices and told she was being put on desk duty. That is a sign of weak, insecure people. They didn’t care that she did a good job. They were too worried that someone might say something bad about them. Practically every decision they make is based on how they will look in the media. Having their officers’ backs doesn’t ever appear to be even a passing thought for them. It’s as if they only see the officers as props, not loyal, hardworking people with careers.
DSABC Steps In
Jeremy Payne, the union president, released a statement regarding what was done to the Deputy Rios. You can read it on KENS 5. We say that’s not good enough. So many employees have been wrongly hurt under this administration; overworking the officers, not following disciplinary procedures, not caring about timelines and not even caring if the person was guilty of doing anything wrong as long as they can be used as a scapegoat.
Jeremy, we realize you are trying to keep a congenial relationship due to contract negotiations but enough is enough. If a small group of people (us) who are not employees of the Sheriff’s Office can see how poorly people are being treated there then this situation has gotten way out of hand and the union should be standing up a lot more aggressively for their people instead of playing a waiting game. You could start with a vote of no confidence.