A former Chandler police officer recently had his state certification revoked after he lied about not fingerprinting and photographing 56 suspects over several months, public records show.
Patrick Beckley will no longer be a sworn officer in Arizona after the state’s Peace Officer Standards and Training Board revoked his certification earlier this summer.
He quickly resigned from the Chandler Police Department last year after his supervisors started checking his work.
AZPOST records show Beckley made 58 arrests between May 2018 and November 2018 that ended in suspects being cited and released from custody.
The officer reported taking photos and fingerprints for all the suspects, but an audit of Beckley’s records revealed 56 of them were not properly documented.
A supervisor asked Beckley why this evidence was missing from his reports and the officer claimed his password to the agency’s fingerprint scanner wasn’t working.
An internal investigation later discovered Beckley had not logged into the scanner’s system since August 2017.
Beckley did not participate in the internal investigation and resigned in November, less than two years after he joined the police force.
Suspects accused of committing misdemeanor offenses like shoplifting can be cited and released from police custody if they provide valid identification and don’t have any outstanding warrants.
Chandler’s police manual states cite-and-release arrestees should be photographed and fingerprinted unless a supervisor tells an officer otherwise.
If a suspect needs medical treatment or is being physically violent, then the officer may be allowed to forgo the fingerprints, according to Chandler Police Sgt. Daniel Mejia.
He added that Beckley’s situation was an isolated incident and no other officers have been found to be lying about fingerprinting.
In determining whether to cite and release someone, the manual instructs officers to consider a suspect’s criminal history, ties to the community, and likelihood to appear in court.
Offenders must be brought to one of Chandler’s police stations to be fingerprinted and photographed. Mejia said officers can take a fingerprint out in the field, which is imprinted onto the citation form.
Arizona law allows officers to issue forms to arrestees, instructing them to report back to the police station for fingerprinting at a later time. At least 25 of the people arrested by Beckley had been issued these instructions, public records show.
AZPOST determined it had authority to revoke Beckley’s certification because he had engaged in a “pattern of conduct that tends to disrupt, diminish or otherwise jeopardize public trust in the law enforcement profession.”
Mejia emphasized that Beckley didn’t lose his certification because of the fingerprinting—he lost it because he lied about it in police records.
Beckley is the first officer from Chandler to have his certification revoked in more than a year.
Jared Standage, a former officer who resigned in 2017, had his certification revoked last year for false statements he made in a report involving an intoxicated juvenile.
Paul Kultala, another former officer, had his certification suspended for three years last July after he was arrested by the Phoenix Police Department on suspicion of soliciting prostitutes.
Kultala, who resigned from CPD shortly after his arrest, allegedly agreed to pay $80 to have two undercover officers perform sexual acts in a massage parlor.