Three former Tucson police officers have surrendered their state certification, barring them from seeking work at any Arizona law enforcement agency.
In a Wednesday meeting of the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training board, Adam Bell, Blake Deimund and Gabriel Rivera all agreed to voluntary relinquish their peace officer certifications, said Sandy Sierra, an AZPOST spokeswoman.
In December, Bell, 39, told his supervisor that the driver’s side door to his marked police wasn’t latching correctly while he was on a call for service, according to the AZPOST’s final action report on Bell.
Bell said the door was “tight” to open, but he would use it for his day’s shift. After responding to one call for service, Bell brought the car back to the station to be repaired and left with another vehicle.
The issue with the door was much more significant than Bell told his supervisor, as the damage was so extensive that the door and top hinges had to be replaced.
The damage to the door appeared that the car had been in some sort of “backing collision” which was unreported and investigators located a wooden pole in an alleyway behind a house Bell responded to that had damage consistent with that to the vehicle, according to the report.
In an interview with investigators, Bell said he hadn’t noticed the significant damage to the door when he started his shift, according to documents from TPD’s Office of Professional Standards investigation.
Bell later admitted to backing into the pole in the alley and trying to tape, wire and zip-tie the door shut when he returned to the station.
Bell was put on imposed leave pending the outcome of the investigation, but resigned from the department a month later, according to the TPD document.
Rivera, 41, resigned in lieu of termination in April 2015 after a TPD investigation revealed that he failed to take basic steps when he investigated three separate cases of sexual assault against juvenile girls, according to the AZPOST’s case overview report.
The first incident, that took place in 2012, involved a girl who was raped at a party by multiple male suspects.
In reviewing the case, TPD’s office of professional standards documented more than 15 steps that Rivera — who was a detective — failed to take in his investigation, the report said.
Only three of the five alleged suspects were arrested and those males were “ultimately charged with a lesser charge for their criminal acts,” which the court blamed on policy failure.
An administrative investigation was conducted after the “critical errors” were discovered, revealing two more cases in which he failed to “complete necessary investigative processes,” the report said.
Deimund, 34, was an 11-year veteran of TPD when he resigned in October, after an internal investigation revealed he lied about a traffic stop several times, according to the AZPOST case overview.
In March 2015, Deimund pulled over a car that he said was driving 55 mph in a 40 mph zone, and the driver had no insurance or registration. Intending to impound the car, Deimund searched the vehicle and located a gun, arresting the driver on prohibited possession charges, the report said.
The driver was in jail for six months, professing his innocence, when Deimund admitted to the Pima County Attorney’s Office that he wrote the speed down wrong and the suspect was only driving 45 mph.
The charges were dismissed and the driver sued , according to the report.
During multiple interviews , Deimund gave three different stories as to why he wrote the wrong speed down, after which TPD investigators decided he didn’t pull the car over for speeding and lied during his interviews.
Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at email@example.com or 573-4191. Twitter: @caitlinschmidt