Sheriff refuses to hedge on Pedobear

September 14, 2010

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department, faced with online criticism from as far away as England, is refusing to back down on their concern over the Pedobear.[KSBY]

Sheriff’s spokesperson Rob Bryn acknowledged Monday that Pedobear, an Internet icon used to warn of potential pedophiles,  started as a joke, but Bryn insisted they were just trying to raise awareness of the Pedobear character.

“The problem is a lot of the images that are being used on the internet are disturbing, and really are more glorifying of child molestation than I think was the intent,” said Bryn.

Bryn says that is why the department passed along the bulletin, which originated in San Diego County.

The press release from Bryn, complete with stern warnings about “For Adult Consumption Only” ignited a firestorm of criticism  online from people incredulous that law enforcement was being so naive about Pedobear origins.

The widely-read Huffington Post, however, had a different take on the story Sunday night, posting the KSBY video on its Comedy Page.  “He isn’t, in any way, a mascot or supporter for pedophilia, but you wouldn’t know that if you had just watched this news report about California’s San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department alerting the public about this potentially dangerous symbol. It’s pretty hilarious that they cite the bear’s appearance on car bumper stickers and “an event in southern California” (a.k.a Comic-Con?) as evidence of it being a public menace.”

“But the ridiculous scare tactic doesn’t stop there,” the Huffington Post continues. “Gawker confirmed with the police that they are aware that it is an Internet joke, but that they have still considered it a mascot for molestation.”

The online site Gawker claims that Pedobear even met the Pope once. They also struggle to contain their sarcasm in reporting the story under the headline “Stupid California Police Warn Parents of Pedobear.”

Writes Gawker, “Pedobear is a meme featuring a cute cartoon bear who pops up wherever people are being creepy about kids on the Internet. Cops in California don’t understand this, and have issued a hilarious warning about Pedobear.

“The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department, who can’t be bothered to look up Pedobear’s extensive Wikipedia entry, issued a very serious warning about Pedobear last week, as seen in the news report above.

“The news report on KSBY-TV includes one of these Southern California ‘sightings': A guy in a Pedobear costume next to a man holding a baby. The baby’s father is just blithely standing next to a dangerous pedophile! Actually, no. That picture was taken at Comic Con. The person inside the costume—and anyone spotted with pedobear paraphernalia—is a nerd who spends too much time on the Internet.”


23 Comments

  1. Dave says:

    The Shredder notes the Pedobear controversy in this week’s New Times. However, I find it curious that there’s been no coverage in The Tribune. Not a word. Why would they pass on a story like this? Any thoughts?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    • mkaney says:

      Ah it is very interesting that you bring this up. A couple days ago (on 9/14), when glancing through the Most Read section on the right hand side of their home page, I saw this article:

      http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2010/06/11/1174495/man-arrested-after-allegedly-hanging.html

      Now, I just clicked on it assuming this was a new article, and in fact, I noted that it says it was last updated on 9/13/10. And then I saw these words “The man was wearing a backpack with a teddy bear motif.” Scrolling down the comments, the oldest comments began on 9/14, and were questioning why this story was being run again. A staff member piped in and said the reason it was on the Most Read list was because someone submitted it to Reddit a couple days earlier..no explanation offered why the last update read 9/13 when the story was from June though…

      That is just WAY too fishy for me to accept.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. SLOBIRD says:

    I just want to add that if you like what you have been getting out of the Sheriff’s Dept than vote for Parkinson so you can have more of the same. Parkinson is currently the Captain at SLO Police Dept, supervisors no drug dealers, lies about his taxes,see comments from Bob 2010, Bryn (ex-slo police dept), Strobridge (ex-slo police dept – negotiator who got them the big rasie (also formed a new union for the sheriff’s deputies so you can reward and pay them more)), This good ole boy network needs to end… What I don’t understand is the fact that the unions all say that California Public Safety employees need to retire at age 50 because of the stress of their jobs. If that is true, why are they moving over to the Sheriff’s Dept after retirement and working another 5-10 years. Makes no sense, SLO police and fire need to work until 60. By the way, the reason they file for disability when they go out is they don’t pay income takes on their retirement. ANOTHER BENEFIT!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    • avidgonadnote says:

      Parkinson will most likely win but I worry about his ethics. He has hired dirty people to run his campaign. I received a postcard flyer during the primary that led you to believe he was backed by Democrats. Typical sleazy politics from a sacramento black ops group. Cory Black is behind much of the dirty campaigns around here and I question anyone who hires him.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  3. slorealitycheck says:

    I suppose Mr. Bryn reads The Onion and thinks that is real news as well.

    DON’T VOTE PARKINSON! UNLESS YOU WANT THE SAME SHENANIGANS GOING ON AT THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE TO CONTINUE! Bryn’s position needs to be eliminated and that money used for something else more productive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

    • Bob2010 says:

      I agree Parkinson is more of the same shenanigans! That’s why I am voting for Cortez!

      Cases in point:

      2 SLO police officers arrested at the Mexican border for drug smuggling.

      Jeff Milne incident.

      “According to court records, police officers allege that none of their on-scene radios or police cameras were working during the arrest of Milne. In addition, San Luis Obispo Police officials claim that interrogation room audio and video recording equipment malfunctioned during the questioning of Milne, leaving no recordings available for the trial.”

      The officers involved are identified as Jeff Koznek, Amy Chastain, Crystal Locarnini, all of San Luis Obispo’s department; and Max Schad, Cal Poly police.

      Corruption at it’s best under the leadership of SLO Police Captain Ian Parkinson.

      http://calcoastnews.com/2009/12/san-luis-obispo-slated-to-pay-195000-for-alleged-police-brutality/

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  4. turquoise says:

    Is it a pedobear or a red herring?

    This Sheriff’s Department is so damaged by its leaders that people don’t trust them. I think of them as loose cannons who are potentially dangerous to regular citizens. So this whole ridiculous flap makes me wonder if they’re trying to get people to focus elsewhere so they can run something by without notice. Blackburn’s film, maybe?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

    • danika says:

      Does the average citizen trust the Sheriff’s department???

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  5. mom4two says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 38

    • Cindy says:

      mom4two, This would probably not have been such a big deal to everyone if our Sheriffs department wasn’t already known for so much incompetence. These guy’s are costing all of us through the nose. Between the Sheriff and his 200K salary and benefits who doesn’t go to work and Bryn with his pension and salary who is constantly “screwing up” or “covering up”, we have reason to be angry. That department has been nothing but an embarrassment since Hedges took over the helm and has cost us more law suits than we even know about. The least they could have done is admitted that they made a mistake and laughed about it, many of us probably would have laughed with them and understood.
      In the mean time, you go ahead and keep watching for a pedophile in a bear suit that is out to molest your children. Keep us posted.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

    • Bob2010 says:

      Our sheriffs department is run by a sinking ship of fools. That’s who I would blame, based on their general lack of professionalism leadership and the frequency of the rank and file to be under the scrutiny of criminal investigation!

      Sheriff, absent at the helm.

      A Under-sheriff arrested for DUI

      A former Chief Deputy arrested for shop lifting.

      A off duty Sargent investigated for assault at a wedding.

      Deputy & Correctional Officer under investigation for sexual misconduct on the job.

      Union leader engaged in sexual relations with a county administrator during negotiations.

      Off duty deputy investigated for DUI & being present during street fighting involving family members and assisting them in fleeing the scene.

      Current Deputy’s caught in the act of conspiring to intentionally violate the Constitutional Rights of a Citizen and then attempting to cover it up with blatant statements of how they will use “Flowery Language” to cover up their illegal actions.

      The list goes on and on…..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

      • Kettel says:

        Nice list, the sad part is these are only the ones we know about, tip of the iceburg if you will.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      • SLOBIRD says:

        Great list, if only we knew it all… If this is what we know, think about what we don’t know – scary!!!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • mkaney says:

      mom4two: I can absolutely appreciate where you’re coming from. However, the issue at hand is not whether Mr. Bryn err’d on the side of safety, it is that he is so incredibly unprofessional that he did not seek to do any sort of research or attempt to verify whether the information was valid. San Diego police misinterpreted something that was not sinister in nature as being sinister, likely because they went looking for references to the character that supported there predetermined conclusion instead of actually READING any information. For SLOSD to assume that SDPD’s information was correct simply because it was a fellow law enforcement agency without doing any due dilligence was sloppy work, but then to issue a full alert on that unverified information was a violation of the public trust.

      All it would have taken was a quick objective search online. But to handle it in this manner potentially says something about how they perform their duties overall, Overreacting to benign situations uses up time and resources, which prevents them from handling real threats as effectively as they could. Furthermore, once their mistake was realized, the professional thing to do would have been to retract the information and explain their mistake. If they don’t have the integrity to admit a mistake, again think about how what that might say about how they handle other things.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    • danika says:

      Never a good idea to open any comment with GET A LIFE PEOPLE…

      And…what Mr Bryn did was HIS JOB, poorly. He did his job poorly. You forgot that part.

      Can’t imagine what information you feel is useful to parenting your children except, perhaps, how NOT to do a bad job when they are older and working for the public.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

      • mkaney says:

        Methinks that anyone who is so fearful that they actually appreciate Bryn’s work, is not someone who would stroll into a comments section with GET A LIFE.. A troll would though.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. Lilylu says:

    Can the SLO Sherriffs Dept. screw up anymore than it already has? It has gone from bad to worse this last year, from the sherriffs domestic misadventures to 2nd in command driving drunk to the disgraceful, unlawful video rvealed by Mr. Blackburn, to this absolutely asinine comments by Mr. Bryn, and I’m sure there is lots more I’ve not mentioned. Can they all just give it up and can we just start over with brand new leadership and a thorough house cleaning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  7. Alon_Perlman says:

    And the spin cycle begins. Let’s not loose track of the fact that there is absolutely no usefull inormation in the 2 page alert. the alert itself is more a political election type rant, than the measured educational and enforcement tool such

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  8. ososkid says:

    Rob Bryn is a lieing sack of crap. You screwed up and mis read something but instead manning up and admiting that it was a little silly, Bryn doubled down and looks us in the eye as if we are as stupid as the sheriffs department and says “NO its a pedophile cartoon”

    I thouight was a cute story a little ham an eggs, in the sense that a pig got a little egg on his face ultimately no big deal but now I am down right offended Bryn you are a piece of crap and an embarrassment.

    If you cant identify the pedo bear for what it is Im going to question it but if THE ENTIRE WORLD tells you what it is and you still stick to your lame story.I have to wonder how a bunch of brny fifes will ever be able to identify an actual pedophile. What a joke. Fire Bryn I will never ever trust another word he says.

    Get ready for the pedobear bumperstickers

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

    • mkaney says:

      ” if THE ENTIRE WORLD tells you ” .. seriously!!.

      and these people carry loaded guns and have the authority to make you comply…and even if you are in a situation with them where they are being THIS stupid, there is nothing you can do about it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  9. Saveslocounty says:

    Perhaps Cal Coast News should adopt a caricature of Bryn wearing a dunce cap to warn us of articles sourced by the Sheriff’s Department so that we won’t take the information too seriously. In that way, we can quickly scan over the unreliable and stubbornly defended misinformation and save personal time. Besides, we deserve accurate and timely information from all branches of government funded by our tax dollar. Until the new sheriff comes in and replaces Bryn, his unit should be renamed the PMS…Public Misinformation Service.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 3

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