San Luis Obispo police officer placed on paid leave, again

May 12, 2020

Chief Deanna Cantrell standing behind officer Josh Walsh

By KAREN VELIE

Controversial San Luis Obispo police officer Josh Walsh is on paid administrative leave while he is allegedly investigated.

While a source reports Walsh acted inappropriately while on the job, city officials are not divulging the reason for placing Walsh on administrative leave. When asked to confirm the allegation, City Attorney Christine Dietrick initially refused.

“The City cannot comment on details of individual employee leave usage or peace officer personnel matters,” Dietrick wrote in an email. “I can confirm Officer Walsh is currently employed as a Police Officer with the City.”

However, after confronted with requirements to divulge whether or not an employee is on paid administrative leave, Dietrick admitted Walsh was placed on leave on May 6.

Earlier this year, Walsh was on administrative leave regarding a shooting.

In Sept. 2019, Walsh shot and killed a dog while responding to a possible burglary.

Even though Walsh and another officer quickly determined the burglary report was inaccurate, just a resident fixing a broken window, Walsh appeared frightened of the resident’s dog.

Walsh ordered Riley Manford to control her “fucking dog,” Manford said. “I told him he was a friendly dog and asked him to put his gun down so I could get Bubbers.”

Before Manford could reach her dog, Walsh fired three shots at Bubbers. Two shots struck the dog and one bounced off the concrete.

While he was removed from duty during an investigation into the shooting, he was later placed back on the street.

Walsh’s time in law enforcement has been marred with allegations of harassment and abuse of power, according to a report written in 2014 by private investigator Mike Brennler, who was hired by several local attorneys concerned with Walsh’s alleged inappropriate behavior.

During his investigation, Brennler interviewed Walsh’s aunt, Rene Knight, who reported her nephew had a history of harassing and “sadistic” behaviors. Knight said Walsh would torment his disabled grandmother, holding her small dog above his head while he pulled the dog’s fur causing it to yelp in pain, according to the report.

Knight also described Walsh’s numerous attempts to become a police officer, which he repeatedly failed because he could not pass the psychiatric exams. Even so, in 2005 Walsh was hired by the Visalia Police Department. A resident of the area later filed a formal complaint of abuse of power and harassment against Walsh.

Since securing a job in San Luis Obispo, multiple suspects have alleged the officer was heavy-handed during their arrests.

In 2016, Brennler presented his report on Walsh to incoming Chief Deanna Cantrell, who appears to have taken no action.


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obispan

He should be able to group 3 shots, not 2 of 3, into a pit bull at close range. The ricocheted bullet actually could have hit the police station. Probably on paid administrative leave for firearms training.


commonsenseguy

He has to go. The sooner the better. He’s the type of officer that gives the good ones a bad name.


pasoparent5

Thank you CCN & Ms. Velie for this article. I doubt the local paper or TV station will cover this story any time soon.


Walsh shot that dog for no reason…and Cantrell left her loaded gun in a public restroom (and we all know the fallout from that.) Two complete LEO losers. Shame on both of them.


obispan

The Tribune and KSBY will not be authorized to cover this at this time, not even “SLOPD Officer Placed On Administrative Leave”.


obispan

What a sick f**k. SLOPD abusing the elderly and animals. Elder abuse by the SLOPD has already been established and Walsh has a propensity for harming animals. Once again, only in the City of SLO. Nice work culture they’ve cultivated. Funny thing is people go to the City of SLO for the very high pay. Neighboring cities who can’t pay as much don’t have these problems, and the public works employees don’t even think about stealing equipment. So who is it that the City of SLO seeks when ‘cherry-picking’ from other cities as they tend to do?


womanwhohasbeenthere

“We only hire the best and the brightest.” Yeah right.


This would seem like a good time to start laying off city employees. With the CSU schools all going predominantly online we could certainly downsize a few people from the police force, maybe starting at the top?


Or – Just lay the guy off due to coronavirus and get him off our payroll!


Uncle Jack

This falls directly on Chief Cantrell.


She knows of his history but still keeps him onboard to the extent she actually protects him. Why not release the video of the dog shooting Chief Cantrell? You admit it exists but won’t be transparent with it. Why? It must be bad. Really, really BAD.


#SLOPoliceReleasedogvideo #jumpyjoshwalsh


analyticone

I wonder what he’s got on her that she keeps protecting him.


sbjcl

Governor Gruesome would be proud of this psycho.


kayaknut

Interesting how time and time again city attorney Dietrick has to be told what the law is. One would think she should already know these type of things. Maybe she just needs another raise, but one has to wonder why is she is so lacking in her legal knowledge.


Also have to smile at the picture, what comes to mind is a ventriloquists dummy and Chief Cantrell is pulling the strings. Wasn’t Walsh also one of Cantrell’s storm troopers during the chiefs Gungate scandal?


JamesD

Cantrel’s boy will probably return from his paid vacation in 2-3 months and be promoted to Sergeant by end of the year.


laftch

He sounds perfect for the coming police state.