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San Jose police officer accused of being drunk at Baby Brandon kidnapping scene

Calls for reform in San Jose Police Department amid reports of drug, alcohol abuse 02:29

SAN JOSE -- A San Jose police officer was placed on leave after he was alleged to be under the influence of alcohol while at the scene of the Baby Brandon kidnapping.

Mayor Sam Liccardo and Police Chief Anthony Mata on Tuesday responded to allegations made by an FBI agent that the officer was at the scene who appeared to be drunk. Police said he was assigned to canvas the neighborhood for information and was dismissed after his condition was discovered.

At Tuesday's press conference, they urged department-wide drug and alcohol testing to be included in current contract negotiations with the Police Officers Association and proposed more for mental health and substance abuse for officers.

"It is my desire to ensure that we have a provision that enables broad, random drug and alcohol testing throughout the department," Liccardo said.

Any expansion of drug and alcohol testing would need to be negotiated into the new contract between the city and the Police Officer's Association. The city's current contract is up in June of 2022.

The president of the police union said officers have a difficult job, but added he is open to the idea of expanded drug and alcohol testing.

"I think it is a question that's probably best suited at the negotiation table. But we are absolutely open to looking, finding ways to strengthen it," SJPOA President Sean Pritchard.

Mata apologized to the victim's family during the briefing. The San Jose police were investigating the case, as well as the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office.

"I will not tolerate inappropriate behavior or criminal conduct," said Mata. "When an officer violates the public's trust, they will be held accountable."

Tuesday's announcement follows the sudden death of rookie Officer De'Jon Packer, whose body was discovered inside his Milpitas home in March as the result of fentanyl toxicity.

Devin Fehely contributed reporting.

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