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Officer David R. Larranaga of the Laredo Police Department was dismissed for misusing his authority. He conducted unauthorized searches on individuals, violating professionalism and trust within law enforcement.
Laredo Police Officer Dismissed for Misusing Police Authority
Records released on October 3, 2023, after Texas Attorney General intervention reveal that the Laredo Police Department recently faced a troubling case of misuse of police authority by one of its officers. Officer David R. Larranaga was dismissed from his position after it was discovered that he had been using his position within the department to interfere in personal matters. This incident sheds light on the importance of maintaining professional conduct and upholding the trust placed in law enforcement officers by the community. In this article, we will delve into the details of the investigation and the actions taken by the department to address this misconduct.
Events That Led to Laredo Police Officer Being Terminated
On Sunday, April 16, 2023, at approximately 6:00 p.m., Officer Jorge Garza of the Laredo Police Department was dispatched to the 500 block of Campanario Ln. in response to a child custody dispute. Little did Officer Garza know that this call would uncover a disturbing case of misuse of police authority by one of his fellow officers.
During his investigation into the custody dispute, Officer Garza was informed by the complaining party that Officer David R. Larranaga, who is related to the complainant’s ex-spouse, had been using his position within the police department to interfere in personal matters. The situation took a concerning turn when Officer Garza received a phone call from Officer Larranaga during the call for service. Unfamiliar with the number, Officer Garza declined the call. Within two minutes, Officer Garza received two text messages from Officer Larranaga, identifying himself with his department-issued call sign (L3) and requesting a response.
Recognizing the gravity of the situation, Officer Garza immediately contacted his supervisor and brought the circumstances to the attention of the Office of Professional Standards. An audit into Officer Larranaga’s on-duty activities, including the use of department resources such as his police vehicle and computer software, revealed disturbing findings. Records showed that on December 5, 2022, Officer Larranaga had used the department’s computer software to query the complainant’s name and license plates, unrelated to any official police business. Furthermore, it was discovered that Officer Larranaga had conducted similar unauthorized searches on other individuals, including family members and associates.
The investigation uncovered that on February 8, 2023, Officer Larranaga had used the state and national criminal information center databases to query information about a family member, even though it was not part of his official police duties. Additionally, Officer Larranaga had attempted to obtain information from another officer regarding an ongoing investigation involving a cousin of his.
Laredo Police Officer Confesses to Police Chief
Confronted with the evidence during the administrative investigation, Officer Larranaga admitted to attempting to contact Officer Garza to inquire about the custody dispute case. He also confessed to accessing the criminal information center database for personal purposes, including obtaining information on family members and associates. Officer Larranaga could not provide any valid law enforcement justifications for these actions, admitting that they were of a personal nature.
In March 2023, Officer Larranaga had also reached out to Investigator Andres Perez regarding an ongoing investigation where his cousin was a suspect. Investigator Perez declined to provide any information and requested that Officer Larranaga’s cousin contact him directly. When questioned about this interference during the administrative investigation, Officer Larranaga claimed that his intention was merely to check on the well-being of his family member.
The investigation reached a critical moment on August 7, 2023, during a “Loudermill” hearing with Interim Chief Steve E. Landin. Officer Larranaga had been informed that an Indefinite Suspension was being considered, giving him the opportunity to respond to the charges. Officer Larranaga attempted to justify his actions by stating that he was conducting an informal training exercise using familiar information on the department’s new computer system. However, Chief Landin saw through the deceit and determined that Officer Larranaga’s explanation was false and dishonest.
In light of these egregious violations of departmental rules, regulations, and ethical standards, Chief Landin made the difficult decision to dismiss Officer Larranaga from his position within the Laredo Police Department. Officer Larranaga’s unethical behavior not only compromised the integrity of the department but also jeopardized the access to sensitive and critical databases that are crucial to law enforcement operations.
This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining professional conduct and upholding the trust placed in law enforcement officers by the community. The Laredo Police Department remains committed to ensuring the highest standards of accountability and transparency, as it continues to serve and protect the people of Laredo.
Reference: Re: Indefinite Suspension – From Acting Chief of Police Steve E. Landin to David R. Larranga – Dated August 14, 2023
The Laredo Police Department in Texas recently dealt with a case of a police officer misusing his authority. Officer David R. Larranaga was fired after it was discovered that he had been using his position to interfere in personal matters. The incident highlights the importance of professionalism and trust within law enforcement. The investigation revealed that Officer Larranaga had conducted unauthorized searches on individuals and accessed databases for personal reasons. He confessed to these actions during the administrative investigation. In response, Chief Steve E. Landin made the difficult decision to dismiss Officer Larranaga, emphasizing the need to maintain integrity and protect sensitive information. The Laredo Police Department remains dedicated to upholding accountability and transparency for the community’s safety and trust.
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