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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Niles Q

Wow, and these guys are fighting right now with the city council over raises and benefits.


3 a.m.? I’d probably be snoozing too.


Morro Bay pretty much rolls up the sidewalks at 10 most nights.


I could never understand how a police car can get 130,000 miles on it in less than 3 years in a town that’s less than 5 miles across. or why they have to buy the big Chrysler V-8s for patrol cars.


Maybe they should get VW vans with beds in the back for patrol cars. Might as well be comfortable while you protect and snooze (I love that line).


Gordo

Why do they even have a police department if this is the kind of service the taxpayers are paying for.

Contract with the sheriff. At least the sheriff tracks his cars with GPS so he knows where they are.


mb business owner

I am afraid this is indicative of a bigger issue, the tremendous lack of leadership at the top – city manager/city council.


rickholliday

Rick Holliday to mb business owner; You got that right! There is a much bigger agenda here and it needs to be exposed. Mayor Irons is at the top of the issue for not taking evidence of maleficence with city employees etc. This will all come out very soon, stay tuned!


Robert1

I think what was happening here was a official “snap” .


My son fired a employee in another state last year after he was caught taking a “snap”.

the former employee said it was his right to take a quick “snap” on the job. The unemployment office disagreed.


L.A. to pay $26 million for ban on naps by garbage-truck drivers, welcome to Cali !

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-la-trash-truck-nap-ban-settlement-20140811-story.html


panflash

BTW, apparently the Morro Bay city council has a regular meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening. Maybe someone should ask the Police Chief what action she will take on this matter.


Also, apparently the city council at Tuesday’s meeting will also take formal action to appoint the former Army colonel as the new Morro Bay city manager. News reports indicate that he lost his job in Italy for yelling at a soldier who was slow in opening a traffic gate. Can’t help but wonder what he would do, as city manager, about police officers sleeping in their cars while on duty.


Hey- he might be at that council meeting to observe the formal appointment action and be introduced to the community. So maybe someone should ask him what he would do. If he’s not there, maybe someone should ask the council for their views about police officers sleeping on the job.


sloyal

Obv these guys don’t have enough to do. Send them to Furgeson for a night or two, or a city that will keep them on their toes for who knows, maybe a whole shift. Hopefully they’d come back w a deeper appreciation of the importance of their job, how blessed they are to work here, and why its no cool to be sleeping behind the wheel of your running cop car.


#IHaveToRest


falconbh

I think this officer could be doing a number of things while he is resting his eyes after a long day fighting crime on the Central Coast;


He could be calculating his early retirement formula and counting days.


Memorizing the AG investigation procedures and professional code of conduct standards.


Maybe how the Oceano Community Services District and South County Sanitation District can continue to break the law, and then use , ” The” Automatic Rate Hike Scam” to fleece the public, pay for legal costs, all with the County District Attorney, Grand Jury, Law Enforcement and State turning a blind eye, or sleeping eye, towards justice and relief for Taxpayers.


November


BeachRose

Woohoo, love our MB police dept. Hassling the homeless and sleeping in their patrol cars. Way to go, officers. I want to see names, and discipline would be nice. Mark Martin is the worst, so I really hope he gets caught snoozing on duty. I wish we had Officer Hannbial back. He retired recently, but used to help the homeless who lived in the creekbed.


BeachRose

Oops, I meant “Hannibal”.


MarkGB

To snore and protect.


zaphod

don’t take the nap if you can,t do the rap