The Field Review - Local

San Marcos Police Officer Removed Over Untruthfulness

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San Marcos Police Officer Removed Over Untruthfulness

An unsuspecting citizen was hit by a San Marcos police unit, but that is not the end of the encounter. It turns out the office left the scene, was untruthful, and did not provide information. This ultimately lead to an indefinite suspension, but mainly because the officer was on a last chance agreement.

The victim stated the following in a statement to the San Marcos Police Department:

Officer ran into my car, got out of his vehicle to ask if I was ok. I then asked if anything happened to my car and he said nothing really happened and that my car looked fine. He then got in his car and drove away without giving me any information or insurance

Voluntary Statement from Sydnie Myers, dated January 1, 2023

As we mentioned, this was not the first time San Marcos Police Officer Jordan Perkins was under disciplinary review. On March 7, 2022, Perkins accepted a five day suspension in lieu of an indefinite suspension and it resulted in a last chance agreement.

The five day suspension occurred over inappropriate use of force allegations and is documented in our publishing on 2022 disciplinary actions taken by the San Marcos Police Department.

Chief Stan Standridge has routinely implemented a last chance agreement policy in the last couple of years, per our review. This allows the San Marcos Police Department to managed personnel processes efficiently and effectively. It limits the ability of appealable actions.

San Marcos Police Department Provides Notice to Officer Perkins

[Officer Perkins] received notice of complaint related to policy violations on November 17, 2022, and again on January 17, 2023. This matter was investigated by Sergeant Gamer Ames with the Office of Professional Conduct. [Officer Perkins] subsequently attended a Loudermill Hearing on January 6, 2022, and a second hearing on January 20, 2023, in which [he was] afforded an opportunity to meet with [Chief Standridge] and provide any infmmation [he] wanted [Chief Standridge] to consider before making a disciplinary decision.

On January 20, 2023, [Officer Perkins was] notified during [his] second Loudermill hearing that [Chief Standridge] was considering an indefinite suspension due to multiple policy violations stemming from a motor vehicle crash that [Officer Perkins] did not report, which ultimately led to substantiated findings of untruthfulness.

Additionally, [Officer Perkins] advised that [he was] already under a last chance agreement related to a previous, definite suspension. This memorandum now serves as official notice that [Officer Perkins is] hereby indefinitely suspended from the San Marcos Police Depatiment for violating San Marcos Police Department Policies, Texas Local Government Code (TLGC), 143.051 and the Rules of the City of San Marcos Fire Fighters’ and Police Officers’ Civil Service Commission, Rule 10, Section 10.01. Your suspension will commence on January 24, 2023, at 12 pm.

Notice and Order of Indefinite Suspension, Dated January 24, 2023, from Chief Stan Standridge

Summary of Events Leading to Indefinite Suspension of Officer Perkins

On November 15, 2022, a civilian named Sydney Myers called the San Marcos Police Department to report damage to her vehicle that was reportedly caused by a San Marcos police officer. The computer-aided dispatch incident number is 2022-00065317. Sydney told the telecommunicator that the crash occurred at 201 Telluride Street on November 12, 2022. Commander Sam Myers and Sergeant Mike Casillas became aware of this allegation and conducted a follow up investigation. Subsequently, Commander Myers provided a memorandum to Assistant Chief Winkenwerder, dated November 16, 2022.

In this memo, Commander Myers was able to determine the police vehicle involved was unit 19037, based on evidence provided by Sydney Myers. It should be noted that there is no relation between Sidney Myers and Sam Myers, nor do they know each other. Commander Myers was able to determine the driver of this unit, who he identified as Police Officer Jordan Perkins. He then called Officer Perkins’ supervisor, Sergeant Candace Elrod, to determine if he had reported the fleet crash. She advised that he had not. Additionally, Commander Myers checked computer records and learned that Officer Perkins had in fact been at the involved apartment complex, where the crash occurred, on an unrelated call. Commander Myers attempted to contact Sydney and locate her vehicle, but he was unsuccessful. However, he was able to locate the involved police unit, whereby he confirmed there was damage and/or paint transfer on the front, left bumper. Photographs were taken, and Commander Myers completed his memorandum to the assistant chief.

This memorandum resulted in a written personnel complaint intake form being completed and delivered to you on November 17, 2022, wherein policy violations were alleged. [Chief Standridge] classified this investigation as a Class 1 complaint, which is reserved for serious misconduct and is investigated by members of the Office of Professional Conduct.

The initial investigation was completed on December 22, 2022, and afterwards [Officer Perkins] attended a Loudermill Hearing where [he] learned of the findings and proposed disciplinary range that was being considered. During this conversation, [Officer Perkins] indicated that [he] did not see the damage to Sydney Myers’ vehicle, although [he] admitted that [he] backed up a car’s distance away and then approached her on the passenger side of her vehicle.

The passenger side of her vehicle was damaged by [Officer Perkins] vehicle, and it was easily discernable on photographs that were provided by the investigator. In fact, [Officer Perkins] indicated that [he] approached her passenger, front door. This is exactly the same door that was damaged, and it is plainly evident in photographs taken that the door was dented in multiple locations, and there were scuff marks that were caused by the front, left portion of the bumper on [Officer Perkins] police vehicle. Yet, [Officer Perkins] indicated [he] did not notice the damage because [he] did not inspect her vehicle for damage, but instead focused on the driver and [Officer Perkins] belief that she would be scared and wonied about getting in trouble related to the crash.

Clarification of the intersection was then sought, and [Officer Perkins] provided a response that indicated this occurred at at intersection in the apartment complex. [Officer Perkins was] on the road that terminated into the through-way, and after questioning, [he] admitted that [he was] required to yield the right of way, not her. [Officer Perkins was] at fault in this crash, not Sydney Myers. However, [he] insisted that [he was] focused solely on her and not her vehicle, so [Chief Standridge] requested Sydney Myers be re-interviewed to determine if [Officer Perkins] had in fact looked at her car and would have been aware of the damage.

Sergeant Garner Ames met with Ms. Myers again on January 17, 2023, wherein she told him that [Officer Perkins] had in fact spoken to her through her passenger door. When she asked [him] if her car had been damaged, she said [Officer Perkins] took a step back and looked at her vehicle. [Officer Perkins] then reportedly said, as reflected in her affidavit, ” … and he said nothing really happened and that my car looked fine. He then got in his car and drove away without giving any information or insurance.”

[Officer Perkins was] subsequently provided notice of an additional policy violation related to untruthfulness. [He] signed this additional complaint intake form on January 17, 2023.

Sergeant Garner Ames completed his investigation on January 19, 2023, wherein he substantiated a finding of untruthfulness. On January 20, 2023, [ Chief Standridge] met with [Officer Perkins] again for a second Loudermill hearing, wherein [Officer Perkins was] provided an opportunity to speak regarding this matter. [Chief Standridge] asked [Officer Perkins] why [he] believed [he] did not see the damage to the citizen’s car, after [he] admitted that a reasonable officer would have seen the damage.

[Officer Perkins] voluntarily said that [he was] under stress related to your father’s passing in October 2022, and that [Officer Perkins] and [his] spouse had been struggling for the last six months. [Chief Standridge] asked if [Officer Perkins] had availed [himself] of departmental resources such as the staff psychologist, peer support team or chaplain. [Officer Perkins] said that [he] had not utilized the services of Dr. Tania Glenn or the Peer Support Team. [Officer Perkins] indicated that [he] had visited with the police chaplain, but [he] did not disclose [his] stress related to [his] marriage. [Officer Perkins] also did not utilize the services of Employee Assistance Program. [Officer Perkins] did say that [he was] seeing a private counselor regarding your maniage and these matters.

Notice and Order of Indefinite Suspension, Dated January 24, 2023, from Chief Stan Standridge

San Marcos Police Department Indicates Officer Perkins Has No Right to Appeal Indefinite Suspension

As we identified, the San Marcos Police Department uses last chance agreements. The last chance agreement allows an employee to take a lesser outcome from a conduct issue, but also limits appeal options. As one may be able to continue policing, that person must abide by the department rules, policies, and procedures or be subjected to an indefinite suspension without appeal rights.

Chief Standridge explains such in his final decision on Officer Perkins actions:

[Officer Perkins does] not have any appeal rights pursuant to the last chance agreement that [he] voluntarily entered into on March 7, 2022, as evidenced by [his] signature. That last chance agreement remained effective for three years after March 7, 2022, so it was in full effect on the date of [Officer Perkins] misconduct related to this indefinite suspension.

Notice and Order of Indefinite Suspension, Dated January 24, 2023, from Chief Stan Standridge

Advocating Change

Recently, there has been an advocacy group known as Mano Amiga demanding change. It referenced a topic labeled “Hartman Reform.” It wanted to change the way the San Marcos Police Department performs its disciplinary action process.

It even wanted to strip the rights of officers that are protected under the Civil Service code. They wanted the officers to willfully give up their rights. It is a rather contradicting ideology when talking about other measure Mano Amiga is attempting to influence, such as jail reform.

The request ultimately failed and now Mano Amiga is stating it will petition to have a vote placed on a future ballot to eliminate what the citizens of San Marcos have already voted to install: the removal of political influence in the duty of law enforcement.

Will the vote pass or will it fail? We do not know, but the one thing that tends to happen is change without understanding why change needs to happen or what is not happening that can happen in the process already in place.

This process, by Chief Standridge, shows why the ability to protect officer rights, eliminate political motives, and assure proper corrective action is proper under the current Civil Service protection.

We have read reprimands by departments not covered under Civil Service and they are not newsworthy unless they are joined with something else.

Many times, as we have witnessed, the issue is not the disciplinary process, but the unwillingness or failure to use the process. It all starts with the top. If the top is bad then the rest of the department will follow suit. The lack of transparency in what is already allowed to be public can be a sign that real trouble exists in a department.

Every time we have requested information from San Marcos Police Department they have been transparent. We do not expect them to open their books to things they are not required to provide. It is upon us to learn the system and find what can be released or provide a strong justification as to why something is not private. You may see this concept evolve with other departments we publish.

We believe how the leaders lead will define the organization. Chief Standridge is not a long time City of San Marcos employee. There may be things that need to change, but we cannot expect him to do this instantly. We have yet to see something that indicates he will not perform his duty, but if we do find such we will let the public know.

A Couple of Our Other Reads

You may interested in knowing the Hays County District Attorneys Office confirmed the City of Kyle violated the Open Records Act.

Or you may be interested in learning the City of Harlingen improperly withheld records and finally released some of them.

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