San Jose Police Department

SJPD, Union Apologize After Officer Allegedly Worked While Intoxicated

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San Jose police and the police union issued an apology Tuesday in response to allegations that an officer was intoxicated when he responded to last week’s kidnapping of a baby boy.

Sources told NBC Bay Area that the officer's breathalyzer test registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.139, nearly twice the legal limit.

Apologies on Tuesday came from San Jose's top cop and the union representing the rank and file.

"We have a very dangerous job," San Jose Police Officers Association President Sean Pritchard said. "We go out every single day, risk our lives. We’re expected to make life and death decisions. We need to be at the top of our performance."

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and police give details on alcohol and drug testing for officers following allegations of an officer working under the influence while responding to baby Brandon's case.

Chief Anthony Mata wasted no time condemning the officer's alleged actions.

"I expect all officers to come to work ready to protect and serve," he said, later adding, "I cannot and will not let the actions of a few officers tear down what we have built."

The officer is on leave pending a criminal investigation.

"When an officer is found guilty of criminal conduct, I will personally walk them out," Mata said.

The incident, and the fentanyl overdose death of Officer De'Jon Packer in March, led Mayor Sam Liccardo on Tuesday to propose random drug and alcohol testing for all officers.

Currently, testing is mandatory only for certain units.

"It's apparent that this needs to be made universal in the department," Liccardo said. "Doing so will enable the department to identify those officers who need help."

The police union said it will consider the proposal at its next contract negotiation.

"We are empathetic to people that are struggling with different things, such as substance abuse," assistant police chief Paul Joseph said.

The department said it will expand the safeguards that are in place to provide help to officers who need it, but it also said it will aggressively go after those who don't seek that help and then put the community at risk.

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