Officers near sheriff’s storage locker pass drug tests

February 28, 2013
Ian Parkinson

Ian Parkinson

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement officers who work around the department storage locker agreed to and passed drug tests following the arrest of Narcotics Task Force member Cory Pierce.

Pierce, a San Luis Obispo police officer assigned to the sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force, allegedly sold drugs that he stole from the storage locker. The FBI arrested Pierce earlier this month after a two-week sting. Pierce, who is also alleged to have stolen drugs at gunpoint under the color of law, is out of jail on $25,000 bail.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Tony Cipolla said the department has since changed its rules limiting the number of officers who have access to the storage locker, in addition to drug testing them.

Sheriff Ian Parkinson is also negotiating with different employee groups to ensure that all officers involved in department operations undergo drug testing. The sheriff’s office has never before required drug testing.


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I’m just blown away seeing all this crooked crap coming out of this county. All these cops!! And the Damn District Attorney talks as though this is a monopoly game and not real peoples lives he is playing with! As if being fair and doing the right thing with civilians is too insulting to his ego to blemish his win-loss ratio to have more scrutiny…That’s bad enough, but setting Pierce’s bail at meth dealer pocket change is double triple quadruple STUPID! Somebody please fire this jack ass before more people suffer! All this lack of justice where due and miscarriage of justice where it isn’t is going to blow up bad at this rate. I’d almost prefer street justice at this point because all this crap is costing us tax payers plenty and we haven’t even seen the beginning yet. Sorry if anyone is offended but I am outraged

I am sorry but the limited control on the evidence room should have happened long ago. There was so much previous acknowledgement that there were issues and little was done. Does the fact that person works in a bank mean that they have a key to the safe? There are more stories to come from the poor security of the evidence room regarding the punk Cory Pierce. Just wait.

If you think or believe that Ian is really concerned about the misconduct you are wrong. Ian is simply concerned that this misconduct got out. While as a supervisor for SLO PD he assisted in, participated in and promoted a program that rewarded officers for writing tickets based upon a certain profile – “poundage.”

Big deal… If there is anyone who knows how to beat a drug test, it’s a cop. It doesn’t mention what type of test, but most likely it was a urine test and anyone who has seen Gattica knows those aren’t hard to beat. Unless it was a hair test and a blood draw straight from the vein, I wouldn’t feel assured that Parkinson’s finest are clean.

I don’t get it, why does anyone think that drug testing prevents corruption? There is no evidence that the accused bad cop took any drugs. Sure you may think testing is a good idea for police, but there is no evidence I can find that suggests that drug use by police is a problem. Alcohol and legal prescription drugs on the other hand has been a problem, should police be required to be tea totalers? It seems to me that the threat of a forensic audit of individual finances would be a far better deterrent to corruption than drug testing. But hey, it’s an easy thing to do to make us ‘feel’ safer and it sounds good to combat the ‘evil’ drugs.

Was disgraced officer Pierce *using* drugs? I did not get that from past reports, but maybe I missed something. I did get that he was stealing and dealing drugs – which does not mean he was “sampling the profits” as it were.

I suppose this is a minimal P.R. move that was only natural to perform, but I do not think drugs are always the source of corruption.

“I do not think drugs are always the source of corruption.”

Clearly money is usually the end game behind 95% of the corruption in this country. Where Pierce is concerned, I had the distinct impression that he was an addict and stealing specific drugs (pain killers or barbiturates? ) for his own use but, I could be wrong. Likewise, I had the impression that when he got involved in scams with other drugs it was generally a means of eventually procuring his drug of choice.

Sorry Cindy but a police officer who steals drugs from an evidence locker to pressure a probationer to sell it is a posterboy senario for the word corruption.

Police Officers who suffer a chemical dependancy can choose other means in seeking help without doing what he is alleged to have done. There is no EXCUSE for the behavior so please dont minimize.

No drugs?, did it because he is corrupt?, either or, he should take a hike.

Yes, he almost definitely was using drugs. From another article:

“On multiple occasions, Pierce asked the witness for Suboxone, which is used to treat opiate addictions, indicating that he was personally using the drug, according to the complaint affidavit.”

If he is asking for and using Suboxone, he is most likely addicted to heroin or some other opiate and is trying to hide that fact from his healthcare provider (because otherwise, he could get it through prescription.)

Great step forward Sheriff Parkinson. These tests need to be random and without notice. The conditions also need to be controlled because we all know how drug users scam the urine test. No one should have notice or special treatment where drug testing is concerned. I’m not saying that this is/was the case with your deputies but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it was “kid gloves” all the way as we know that LEO often feel that they should be considered above reproach.

Do it randomly, without notice and if it isn’t a blood test then the urine test must be done under controlled conditions. Apply those simple rules and I’ll have 100% confidence that the deputies are truly not using illegal drugs. In the mean time HIGH FIVE to you.

High five for what? Failing to clean up the lack of oversite on evidence storage which was brought up twice by the Grand Jury? Maybe he was just to busy with the dance rehearsal stuff reported in the Tribune.

Random drug testing for any employee who’s job can affect the well being of the public should be a given. Imagine the damage a Judge on psycotrophic drugs can have on the justice system, likewise for law enforcement and even our CAO? Legal or not, there should be only naturally sound minds, no exceptions!

Color me impressed, to a degree; do we get to know who is performing the drug tests? Do the officers have any forewarned knowledge that they are going to be tested? Are these tests performed under controlled conditions?

This is a very positive step forward to help the public perception of the Sheriff’s Department show that they are operating completely above board; next step, a citizen’s review board ….

I’m not impressed. It has been awhile since Corey Pierce was arrested, and if Parkinson wanted to make brownie points with the public, he should have done the testing of the other officers when the Pierce investigation started, and he should not have asked permission.

Agreed… testing right after Mr Pierce’s investigation started would have been better, to not give anyone time to clean their system, plus testing was not mentioned to be random, and if not means very little. random and repeated testing is the only way testing should be done