Two San Luis Obispo police officers on paid administrative leave

February 14, 2021


The San Luis Obispo Police Department has placed two officers on paid administrative leave over the past three months. Law enforcement officers are routinely put on leave during investigations into potential wrongdoing.

Officer Blake Etherton has been on paid leave since Dec. 9, 2020. Etherton has worked for the SLO Police Department for six years.

According to Transparent California, the city paid Etherton $187,668 in pay and benefits in 2019, which for two months is approximately $30,000.

Officer Nolan Parsons, who has worked for the city since July 2016, has been on paid leave since Jan. 27. In 2019, the city paid Parsons $156,538 in pay and benefits, according to Transparent California.

The city is not disclosing why Parsons and Etherton were placed on administrative leave, though it appears the causes are not related.

“We don’t comment on personnel matters,” said Interim Police Chief Jeff Smith.

Because of labor law protections and the Peace Officer Bill of Rights, law enforcement agencies rarely comment on internal investigations.

Always seeking tips and information, Velie is asking anyone with information on these cases to call her at (805) 234-1703 or send information to

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Looks like SLOPD will have a couple of job openings soon. With all the cops quitting big cities that want to defund the police, I don’t imagine it would be hard to find a couple of replacements with tons of experience. I mean being a cop in a sleepy town like SLO would be my dream, if I were a cop.

And the pay doesn’t look too bad either…

Wait… we pay a dude with 840 hours of training 15k a month to do the 11th deadliest job in California? Excuse me while I go bang my head against a wall.

So what is up with the SLOPD ? what ever happened to the Cities request for the public to make comments and tell the City about our concerns, feelings etc on SLOPD it has yet to be made public ? why is the City holding back the big splash on what we want to see in a new Chief of Police ?

Release and be open and above all HONEST

The Tribune? Crickets. And how much do you want me to pay for your “content”? I think not.

That old saying , Time heals all wounds comes to mind .In this case I would say time renders most all the evidence of wrong doing doesn’t exist anymore and the heat of conviction is now a flickering flame….Meanwhile a really great vacation with pay and health benefits for doing something wrong

Thanks for posting this. Good work, Karen Velie!

No sorry it is terrible work.

WHY do you expose 2 officers to the public opinion without facts.

If they did wrong, ok expose them, if you do not know do not expose then the public.

Please remove your blue live matter sticker.

Nothing like a years paid vacation, how long does an investigation take? Either find them innocent and back to work or fire them. If we are going to pay them anyway at least have them come into the office and sit at a desk, oh yeah the union wont allow that.

Well, three months is not a year, but I agree that they should not be taking continual pay for not working. Police, however, have very strong unions with expensive lawyers who will sue the city in a heartbeat if they feel their officers have been treated unfairly.

Id you are jealous of their benefits, you could become a cop. Or may be encourage your kids to be cops.

Whay a great job, right?