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

Cops are human, and this cop has been through hell for some time now, having lost his infant twin boys.


While he shouldn’t be sleeping in his car while on duty, this video is less than one minute long and cuts off as the two are starting a conversation. I’d like to see the rest of that video.


I trust the police chief will ream his ass good and probably write him up for it. Not sure it’s a firing offense, as there may be extenuating circumstances, like maybe he was working a double, or split shift, or maybe the sergeant told him to get some rest while it was slow out. The union would have something to say about that I’m sure.


If they didn’t fire the two cops that tossed and tasered that kid in the Fuel Dock this guy’s got nothing to worry about.


Used to be department policy that if an officer was sleepy or overtired they were told to go back to the station house and put their head down on a table. They’d respond to calls from the station. Guess they don’t allow that anymore.


I understand Halliday’s unhappiness with MBPD and the City bureaucracy, but he insults people who might be willing to listen to his side with his patronizing rants and charges of citywide corruption.


If Jim Gardiner is investigating all this corruption, I look forward to his report, which I trust will be released to the public.


As for the ordinance against sleeping in your car, that law is really intended to prevent people from camping overnight in parking lots and on streets to avoid the bed taxes and paying for a space.


It’s been in the past applied to RVers parked in the Front Street lot, at the beaches and at Morro Rock and now it looks like to the homeless, as well. Wish I had a solution to the homeless parking issue, but I haven’t seen any solution that isn’t going to piss off someone.


People I’ve known in the past who were living in a vehicle would go out Hwy 41 just past the City Limits to a dirt pull out and park there. The Sheriff didn’t much care, so long as no one complained and they’re outside the City, so the MBPD left them alone too.


There used to be this old lady in town who carried her entire worldly possessions packed into a little sedan. She parked all over town and the cops chased her from one spot to another for years. There were others too.

Used to be a whole subculture of young people living in VW vans around here. So I’d say the Gypsy lifestyle has been a tradition in Morro Bay for a long, long time.


The cops should wake up and lay off the car folk.


Rich in MB

Are you smoking Crack.

I live in Morro Bay and on any given night I can take you to at LEAST two dozzen vans and RVs with the ocupants sleeping/camping while parked on the city steets.


Who are you trying to fool here….yourself?


MolonLabe

If this is the biggest scandal in town ,”a cop takes a nap”, I’d say things are looking pretty good in Morro Bay.. big deal.. get over it. Tell the 3am film maker to find a better hobby..


MolonLabe

If this is the biggest scandal ya’ll can come up with, “a cop takes a nap”, I’d say things are looking pretty good in Morro Bay.. big deal.. get over it. Tell the 3am film maker to find a better hobby..


Perspicacious

We pay firemen to sleep on the job. This is much ado about nothing. What could he possibly see at that hour of the morning if he were patrolling around? Seagulls? If you did have to call him, would you want him well rested and alert when he got there or groggy and cranky? The only thing he did wrong was sleeping where he could be found.


All you cop-haters are why I could NEVER do that work.


rickholliday

Rick Holliday to Perspicacious: And we don’t want you either! Were not “cop haters” we hate cops who “break the rules” that they have imposed and prosecuted “others for”! We have a police officer who broke the law and should be punished for his crime, just like all the homeless people he has cited, arrested, harassed, intimidated and/or thrown in jail for their crime(s) etc. Commander Milliard and police chief, Amy Chritey are as much to blame for this as officer Stuart! The commander, training officers and the chief of police should all be charged and held accountable for this type of behavior by one of their police officers and the chief of police’s comment that “no one has made a formal complaint for her to look in to it” etc. is just a bunch of “the same old shit” we hear all the time for those who try to hide and protect the guilty! Can I come work for you and sleep when I want to or when I’m tired? If this officer was not able to preform his duties, that he gets paid for which includes medical, dental, paid sick leave, paid vacations and retirement money etc. then he should not have been on duty that evening. A complete failure by his commanders, supervisors for not recognizing that this officer was not fit for duty that evening! I have had MANY occasions to “talk” with officer Stuart and I find him to be a “Patsy” for the bigger agenda that is going on in Morro Bay! Stay tuned and keep an eye on morrobaycorruption on YouTube and if you see a lot more “Federal cars” in Morro Bay this next few months just remember what happened in KING CITY, do your homework Perspicacious, not all Police Chief’s, Commanders and cops are good for the community, ours have a hidden agenda governed by “who” is the real question! Your comment of; “What could he possible see at 3 in the morning” is not the point! It’s that he is being “PAID” to be awake, alert and patrolling YOUR STREETS. This is what the city M.O.U. (memorandum of understanding) is all about, SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY FOR A PRICE! Should lifeguards be able to sleep at their jobs until someone calls them for help? Should a nanny take a nap while a toddler plays by the pool? How about a sheriff/bailiff who is guarding a courtroom or judge, should he be able to just sleep when he wants to? I mean after all, what could happen?


Perspicacious

Get a life, would you? Sheesh!


nurse1

Morro Bay’s new drama queen. Rick Holliday. Hey Rick what happened? Did your video camera stop working after you caught George parking in the red zone? bahahahahahahahahah. You need to get out and do a little traveling. Your incessant rants are getting REALLY BORING. There is a big world out there. We in MB could give a rats ass about your self induced manic stories. Get a life for gods sake!


fishing village

I trust our Police Chief, Christy, to do whatever it takes to right this situation!


rickholliday

Rick Holliday to fishing village; Go stick your head in the Morro Bay sand like an ostrich because Chief Christey is not going to do anything! She “IS” the system! And just a question to you: “What, in YOUR OPINION is the right thing to do? Please tell us all!


Pelican1

Mr. Mayor. I’m waiting for a detailed explanation of how this could happen on YOUR watch. Is this part of your new vision for Morro Bay?


rickholliday

If your waiting for the Mayor to do something, I would not hold your breath! Mayor Irons was given evidence of malfeasance by the police dept. and city employees last year my myself and others and not only refused to look at it but refused to take the evidence and present it to the D.A. etc. Mayor Irons is a coward, don’t look for a “detailed anything” from the Mayor, it isn’t coming!


nurse1

He is more then a coward Mr. Holliday. He could give a rats ass about anyone but himself and getting his newly bought property rezoned he just bought. He has a lot of the fools fooled!


fishing village

Not a good post


Pelican1

Am I not entitled to ask for a detailed explanation of this kind of behavior under the Mayor’s watch? Is this not EXACTLY what you, the Mayor, and his comrades demanded of the former City Manager and Attorney? Did you not demand accountability?

Well that’s exactly what I’m doing.

It’s time to do away with the hypocrisy that plagues the current Morro Bay administration.

I demand honesty and transparency!


fishing village

Oh dear, I’m sure the officer will catch it!! from his boss, so let’s drop it , okay?!!


rickholliday

Rick Holliday to fishing village. Did you listen to what Chief Christey said; “no one has made a formal complaint yet” really, I am this morning so you can “move forward” on your investigation, FORMALLY!


fishing village

Are you mad about something else and trying to stir up trouble?


nurse1

Fishing Village, what does Walter have to say? He after all is your mayors puppeteer.


Pelican1

Why didn’t you react the same way about the city attorney and city manager before they were FIRED????? You people amaze me.


MolonLabe

Who cares.. If this idiot has nothing better to do at 3am than filming a guy sleeping in his car, he’s living a sad life. This is not news.


rickholliday

Rick Holliday to MolonLabe: Who cares? I care and so do hundreds more of the citizens of Morro Bay and so should you! The only “idiot” here is you for even making the comment! It’s not just “a guy”….It’s a cop, who YOU pay to stay awake! This cop has done many illegal things (see morrobaycorruption on YouTube). It’s a cop who should not be on duty if he can’t preform his job and his superior officers should be brought up on formal charges for allowing him to work! Do you get to sleep at your job, do you even have one? Perhaps I could come work for you, have you pay me very well and I’ll just snooze when ever I fell like it and you will continue to pay me, right! When do I start?


ErrandBoyOchs

“A simple Google search shows us that cops sleeping or resting in their patrol cars during night patrol is commonplace — especially at 3 a.m. when the video was shot”.


I HAVE THE FINAL WORD ON CALCOASTNEWS AND I HAVE SPOKEN!