Two months ago two Phoenix Police lieutenants made a decision to shut down an investigation and walk away from a 60-hand grenade purchase from an illegal alien. Sgt. Phil Roberts reported this decision as misconduct in a memo and alleged that it was a gross neglect of duty. Shortly after complying with policy and reporting alleged misconduct, Sgt. Roberts’ chain of command (an assistant police chief and a commander) agreed to transfer Sgt. Roberts out of his Robbery position and back to patrol.
The Department communicated to the media that it was not a permanent transfer. The Department communicated that it was Sgt. Roberts’ choice. The Department reported that it was not retaliation. The Department communicated that the hand grenades were not real – this assessment based on a cell phone photo void of any physical inspection. Communication with PLEA was that the informant was not reliable and neither was Phil Roberts. Bomb squad personnel reported to PLEA that a photo of a grenade was an inadequate method to determine the viability of any hand grenade. Bomb squad personnel reported that federal law enforcement agencies had verified the use of live hand grenades within Mexico by drug cartels.
Last night (Tuesday November 17, 2009) the media reported that DPS purchased 24 live hand grenades in Phoenix from at least two illegal aliens. After Phoenix Police management dropped the ball, thankfully DPS personnel and officers from Maryvale precinct picked up the fumble.
Ooops – It appears that Phoenix Police management may be comfortable with the presence of hand grenades in the City of Phoenix – even during a visit to our city from the Vice President of the United States.
Ooops – It appears that one doesn’t have to travel to Beirut or Baghdad to run into IEDs (improvised explosive devices), all one has to do is come to Phoenix, Arizona.
Ooops – It appears that Sgt. Roberts’ concern about hand grenades being sold by illegal aliens in Phoenix may have been valid.
Ooops – it appears that Sgt. Roberts’ transfer may have been based upon personality driven management and not facts or documented performance issues.
Ooops – It appears the Department report (taken by Phoenix 35 days after the initial grenade deal was cancelled) may not have had the effect of deterrence that police management was hoping for. Ignoring problems rarely makes them go away.
Ooops – It appears that the remaining 36 reported hand grenades may shake the confidence of citizens in the Phoenix Police management team this holiday season as they visit crowded malls with their families.
Ooops – It appears that illegal aliens may have aspirations beyond police management’s description of “corn vendors” and “landscapers” just here to make a living. Perhaps one way an illegal alien can make a living in Phoenix is to sell hand grenades to DPS officers in the parking of a Home Depot with a 4 year old child in the car.
PLEA has contacted members of the City Council and the City Manager’s office concerning this situation. If NFL coaches get fired for losing 28 to 60 games, perhaps police managers need to be fired or at least demoted for losing 28 to 60 grenades. PLEA is calling for the termination of Lt. Lauri Burgett and Lisa Messina. PLEA is calling for the demotion of Assistant Chief Jim Pina and Commander Dave Faulkner. PLEA has also requested that Sgt. Roberts be returned to his original Robbery assignment.
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