Morro Bay cop caught asleep at the wheel

August 25, 2014
Asleep

Morro Bay police officer asleep in his patrol car

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

Shortly after Morro Bay police officers do late night bar checks and roust homeless people they find sleeping in their cars, some then search for a secluded spot to take a nap in their police cruisers, in violation of police policy and city laws.

Sources say Morro Bay police officers have frequently slept in their patrol cars during night shift hours, violating a city ordinance. Morro Bay municipal code prohibits sleeping in vehicles between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., with the exception of in designated areas like a trailer park.

On multiple occasions, CalCoastNews has observed officers sleeping behind Pedersen Realty and Property Management on Main Street in Morro Bay. In some instances, the officers would sleep there for three or more hours at a time.

Late last month, Jeffery Specht, a critic of the Morro Bay Police Department, filmed an officer asleep in his patrol car in the parking lot behind Pedersen Realty. Specht shot the footage shortly after 3 a.m. on July 29.

On film, Specht woke the officer and asked him why he had been sleeping.

“I have to rest,” the officer said.

CalCoastNews asked Morro Bay Commander Bryan Millard to identify the officer in the recording. Millard refused to name the officer, citing personnel issues as an exemption from public disclosure requirements. Nevertheless, multiple officers have been observed sleeping in their police cruisers in the same area.

Millard did say, though, that police department policy prohibits officers from sleeping in their patrol cars.

In recent years, the police department has stepped up its enforcement of the sleeping in vehicles ban in Morro Bay. Officers have awoken individuals sleeping in their cars and have given them tickets and tried to force them out of town, homeless people have said.

The police department has even created city signs stating that it is unlawful to sleep in vehicles at night. Police created the signs as part of a community policing and environmental planning initiative, according to an April 2014 department newsletter.

City staff then erected the signs, which cite the Morro Bay Municipal Code, and placed them in locations where homeless people have been known to sleep at night.

Since Specht filmed the officer asleep in his patrol car, police have not returned to that location at night, sources say.

CalCoastNews would like your help identifying the officer in the video. If you have any information pertaining to the identity of this officer or the on-the-job sleeping habits of area patrolmen, please email tips@calcoastnews.com.

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88 Comments

  1. JC123 says:

    any updates on this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Rich in MB says:

    I don’t know what all the fuss is about.
    If Obama can sleep on duty while ISIS is cutting off heads and the NSA is taking away our 4th Ammendment protections, what’s the big deal about a Morro Bay cop catching a few ZZZZs??

    Guys…where has your sense of proportion and importance gone?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  3. AmericaBeautiful says:

    What a mean-spirited, crappy thing to do to this officer. What’s this Specht’s ulterior motive, other than egotism?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

    • kettle says:

      What a mean-spirited, crappy thing to say about Specht when he caught a policeman Sleeping on the job!

      Why do people think this is ok? Before someone brings up firemen, no they use a different shift.

      Also do people think a person/police can go from sleep to stressful combat situation in 3 minutes and be operating at 100%?

      I welcome the comments of the new MB city manager on the acceptability of this practice.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  4. Mr. Holly says:

    If he was tired he maybe should have gone down to the Arroyo Grande City Hall and had a tea break with Adams and his friend. Or maybe Morro Bay should open up a late night tea room for the convenience of their employees?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

    • nurse1 says:

      Mr. Holly, I agree, lets not forget our mayor and council members. Oh I forgot they have a place of rest. Its at city council meetings. When we are not hearing Noah the Schmuckler talk in circles, coupled with Christine Johnson fixing her cute lil bangs…and smiling for AGP……

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. Perspicacious says:

    At least he wasn’t passed out drunk in his patrol with a bear between his legs.

    http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2014/aug/28/state-park-ranger-found-patrol-car-unconscious-bee/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

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