The Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board held an open meeting on Wednesday, May 7th to discuss the continued certification of 34 officers in Arizona.
The Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board is the government agency in Arizona who grants law enforcement officers their certification to enforce the law.
Lyle Mann, Executive Director
On May 7th, 2017, the Board met to discuss the certifications of law enforcement officers from 20 different departments in Arizona with a total of 34 officers. Following is a summary of why some of the officers were being discussed.
Former Tucson Officer Brandon T. Kelley
Former Tucson Officer Brandon Kelley was barred from serving as a police officer in Arizona after he yelled a derogatory remark at a driver. The comment was recorded. Kelley then lied about making the remark and then attempted to delete the scene from his camera.
Former Tucson Police Officer Arick Martino
Former Tucson Police Officer Arick Martino lost his certification after he used excessive force on a suspect who was handcuffed and on the ground. Martino called the suspect a name then planted his knees into the back of the suspect. Martino’s explanation of the events did not match the body camera footage of the event.
Former Tucson police detective Lisa E. Lopez lost her certification after a 19 year career. Lopez was assigned to the child sexual abuse unit and the vulnerable adult abuse unit. She “failed to thoroughly investigate 36 cases” between 2008 and 2016, according to AZPOST documents.
Former Phoenix Police Officer Nevin S. Brenner
Former Phoenix Police Officer Nevin Brenner lost his certification. Brenner had a checkered past as a police officer. He was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend and failed a drug test.
Officer of the Year Blake Deimund
Former Tucson Sergeant and Officer of the Year Blake Deimund lied about the purpose behind a traffic stop which led to the innocent suspect spending six months in jail. Sergeant Deimund continued to lie on several occasions. His certification was revoked.
Former Mesa PD Lieutenant Richard Van Galder
The story of former Lieutenant Van Galder is a story in itself. His certification is on the table to be revoked, but the board was unable to have enough members able to vote. His case was tabled.
The US Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that Arizona has 141 law enforcement agencies. In one meeting of the agency that governs their certification, 20 agencies were represented by officers who are being reprimanded or having their certifications revoked.
There is a problem when those charged to uphold the law are being forbidden to do so based on their illegal activities or failure to do their job. When people say they support the “men in blue”, do they really know the corruption that takes place behind the thin blue line?