Video appears to show SLO probation officer texting while driving

May 17, 2017

A video that appears to show a San Luis Obispo County probation officer texting while driving is circulating on social media, prompting some locals to question whether public safety personnel are above certain California laws.

The footage was filmed on a cell phone at the intersection of Broad Street and Orcutt Road in San Luis Obispo, according to a post on SLO resident Richard Fields’ Facebook page. In the video, an officer appears to be sitting behind the wheel of a county probation car that is stopped at the intersection.

Both of the officer’s hands appear to be placed on the device. When the traffic light changes, the officer appears to drive away with one hand still on the device.

KSBY reports that the San Luis Obispo County Probation Department is conducting an investigation into the incident.

State law bans cell phone use while driving but exempts emergency personnel in duty-related situations. Additionally, most public safety agencies have their own policies pertaining to mobile device use.

SLO County Chief Probation Officer Jim Salio said county vehicle policy states all employees must obey all traffic laws when operating a county vehicle. It is unclear what discipline the officer may face if he is found to have broken county policy or the state vehicle code.

  1. CCWine says:

    SO what? Give him a slap on the wrist and move on. We all do a little texting behind the while sometimes, right? ….right?

    (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  2. Zoiebowie says:

    Probation Offficers lives matter. SJW at it again.

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
    • DocT says:

      More laws and harsher penalties! That’s how we won the War on Drugs….try to find someone who smokes pot today! The super tough laws put a stop to that.

      Speed Limits with larger monetary fines for exceeeding them has virtually eliminated cars that are capable of going over 70 MPH. No one drives that fast….cuz the penalty is so severe for doing so.

      DUI laws….same thing. No one drives drunk….cuz it’s against the law!

      Texting and driving. All it takes is a super-duper tough law with a really nasty penalty and NO ONE will text except cops and their friends and family.

      Underage drinking. NOT A PROBLEM, now that we have laws.

      We all know that’s how it works. Give up your liberty and achieve total safety. Yeah!

      *loads of sarcasm above this point.

      Seriously folks, laws do not save lives. All they do is punish certain behaviors.

      (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
  3. TaxMeAgain says:

    It seemed as if both of you were using your phones. Both of you were, however, stopped for most if it.

    That being said, put the phones down people. People all over and in our community are getting hurt.


    (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
  4. Gordo says:

    The probation department ought to rethink the idea of marked cars and having officer dressed like they are on a swat team.
    If this officer had been in a plain car and wearing a tie nobody would have paid him any attention.
    But, that isn’t sexy. Marked cars swat gear and running around with a sense of urgency is sexy and that seems to be what law enforcement is preoccupied with these days.

    (3) 13 Total Votes - 8 up - 5 down
    • kayaknut says:

      If their cars were unmarked they couldn’t park anywhere they wanted to, such as handicapped, loading zones, or other illegal parking spaces when off duty and driving their taxpayer furnished vehicle.

      (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
  5. non_sequitur says:

    Throw the book at him! I’m not kidding.

    Any cell phone use while driving is as dangerous or more dangerous than drunk driving. I know that most cops do it, firemen do it, and a LOT of you do it too, because I can see you when I’m bicycling or riding a shuttle. That doesn’t make it safe or right. Laws and punishments for phone usage while driving need to be in line with DUI laws and punishments.

    Remember this one?

    (-4) 16 Total Votes - 6 up - 10 down
  6. DocT says:

    Indeed, the basic personality profiles of cops closely match those of criminals. You can look this stuff up and read all about it.

    Think about it: Thieves steal other people’s property, which is against the law. Cops steal other people’s property too….under cover of law.

    Criminals use guns. So do cops.

    Criminals drive drunk. So do cops.

    Criminals lie about facts and events in order to protect themselves. Ditto cops.

    Criminals frequently resort to physical violence when “disrespected.” Cops too.

    Criminals have a high incidence of domestic violence. Ditto cops.

    Criminals have a high incidence of drug addiction/alcohol abuse. Cops do too.

    Look at photos of cops from 60 years ago, and look at photos of cops today and compare. A picture is worth a thousand words.

    The USA has become one great big Zimbardo Experiment. Look it up if you don’t know what it is.

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  7. TacomaRose says:

    LawMan1’s post describes him or her as and asshat..

    So you suggest that Mr. Fields not get reasonable law enforcement assistance simply because he voiced criticism? Do you realize what you you just just suggested ?

    If you are indeed a LawMan then you should be fired…You are an idiot. Law enforcers should be as accountable as those they hammer … Plain and simple !!!

    (13) 19 Total Votes - 16 up - 3 down
  8. abigchocoholic says:


    Probation officers are human too? With all the same flaws as non-probation officers?

    No, say it ain’t’ so.

    (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down

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