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Press Release from SRPD Re: Article on July 30th 21 with Denise Domela.




We do not normally engage nowadays with the press on matters other than for the purpose of informing the public of incidents that have taken place or to appeal for witnesses or information and other purposes to further our investigations.


However, when allegations against this Department are made in such a public forum without any way for us to address them, it's the decision of Command that we need to respond. To that ends I will set the record straight regard the allegations of corruption leveled at us 'Santa Ramona Police Department' by Denise Domela and the Chronicles.


To firstly address Ms. Domela's complaint that no investigation has been made, that is simply not true. Her report was acted upon the very day it was received. CCTV was obtained the very next day. Interviews were conducted shortly after.


I would like your readers to understand when a warrant is approved by a Judge, other than in a few specific circumstances we are duty-bound by law to serve the said warrant. When the Judge authorizes such a warrant he or she must be satisfied that certain criteria are met in regards to admissible evidence that can hold up in court. Traditionally Judges are, rightly, even more stringent on this requirement being met when issuing Search Warrants. Despite our efforts to obtain a warrant in this regard, the Judge believes that the CCTV evidence, in this case, does not meet the needed requirements. It's unfortunate but is simply the way it goes sometimes. The case remains open and should more evidence come to light then we will apply again. Sometimes evidence might be admissible in one circumstance and not in another. Such is the case here.


Secondly, A claim was made to us during the said investigation, which we rightly took seriously in regards to a sexual assault. It is not now or ever should be the place or position of Law Enforcement in this town, or any other to make judgment calls on what sexual attention makes someone uncomfortable, distressed or not. Unwanted sexual attention is by definition Sexual Assault. If someone wishes to press charges against another in regards to Unwanted sexual attention, then we have to take that as seriously as any other case. Not doing so would not only give victims the wrong signals in regards to reporting such incidents but is legally and morally wanting.


Thirdly, Whilst we must work closely with the Mayor's office in many respects. Disaster Management, Policing of city events and Budgeting are some examples. SRPD do not take bribes from anyone, Mayor, Deputy Mayor, or anyone else. Doing so would not only be unlawful it is also counterproductive, as we must by our nature must remain unbiased. Personal friendships or otherwise, have very little to do with policing. Claims of taking or receiving bribes by Police officers are serious matters and we would therefore very much like to hear from Ms. Domela who these 'several upper ranking SRPD' officials that allegedly are 'very good friends with former Deputy Mayor and his wife, are, so that these claims if indeed they have any grounding at all, can be looked into.


Fourthly, I wish to clarify that there is no Northside or Southside in SRPD. We have a HQ in the North of the Town and a smaller, annex station in the South, but we are ONE department, with jurisdiction in both sides of the town. The Southside. annex station is manned by SRPD officers and supervised by a Captain, all of who are members of SRPD and answerable to the Chief and Deputy Chief who are based at HQ.


Finally, In terms of Ms Domela's accidental injuring an SRPD officer while intoxicated. It is our understanding that the said Officer has accepted it was an accident and no charges have ever been brought against Ms. Domela for the said incident. The officer in question was not in fact 'moonlighting as security at the event' as the Chronicles are claiming. He was simply an off-duty Police officer who felt that he was responsible for making sure no harm came to anyone. The instinct to Protect and Serve does not simply vanish when the uniform comes off. As he was not asked to perform this duty, this is not Moonlighting. I would like to remind the Chronicles that the News Reporting Code of Ethics states that. a) Ethical Journalism should be accurate and fair. Has the officer in question been asked if he was being paid to act as or had even been asked to act as security? Has the event organizer confirmed that this is the case? b) Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues, and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect. Is claiming a public Official is 'moonlighting' without such confirmation of that fact respectful?, c) Ethical journalism should act without favor to anyone on any side of an article. This is placed at the heading of an article completely swayed in one direction and making claims that are unsubstantiated, untruthful, and heavily biased. It is our view that the Chronicles have therefore failed to uphold the essence of the code of ethics they must work by.


I conclude in stating in the strongest terms that the people of this town have been given no information with any factual basis to it, in regards to Corruption by SRPD in the Article published on July 30th. That the information they have received is nothing but misleading, totally biased, untruthful, heresy from a person disgruntled at being arrested. If Ms. Domela or the Chronicles have further evidence to substantiate the serious claims made in said Article then we invite them to bring it to us and discuss the matter with myself and Chief Stone.


Deputy Chief- Azariah Brentt

Santa Ramona Police Department