BERKELEY (CBS SF) — Six UC Berkeley police officers have been fired after some of them were caught sleeping on the job.
Others were caught just hanging out during their midnight shifts in a campus library.
The police chief said the six UC Berkeley officers were caught regularly sitting inside a closed campus library after reporting that they were out patrolling other buildings.
A Cal spokesperson said, “Because police officer personnel matters are confidential, we cannot discuss any particulars of any individual case. Speaking generally, we expect all our officers to be out working, as assigned, protecting our campus community.”
Former Oakland Police Chief and KPIX-5 Law enforcement analyst Howard Jordan said it’s not the dereliction of duty that forced a termination,it was the allegation that the officers lied about it.
“Lying about it is sort of like a cardinal sin,” said Jordan. “You’re not credible anymore.”
Jordan says he knows at least one of the officers involved – a former Oakland police lieutenant named Lawrence Green.
“We were actually officers together in a squad. He’s a very smart guy, but he’s also very opinionated,” said Jordan.
According to the Mercury News, Green resigned before the terminations and accused campus Police Chief Margo Bennett of initiating the investigation as an act of retaliation.
“He challenges management. He’s been known to do that so I’m not surprised about what he said about the chief there,” said Jordan.
Emails sent to Lawrence for comment did not go through.
The allegations of the officers’ conduct came at a time when the campus had suffered a string of on-campus assaults, including one near a dorm. A student was savagely beaten by a group of men and knocked unconscious.
Jordan says Chief Bennett’s decision to fire the officers sends a clear signal.
“She’s definitely sending a message to the rest of the staff that they need to be, that they will be held accountable for doing their job, and if they’re found to not be doing their job that she’s gonna take appropriate action.”
The officers have been on paid leave since October.