This isn’t about the Tempe Police Department. It is about the Chandler Police Department, which is probably just as corrupt as the Tempe PD. Chandler is next to Tempe on the south and east sides. In these articles it seems that Chandler Commander Joe Gaylord did the best he could to cover up the crimes of Sgt. Thomas Lovejoy.
On a personal note I don’t think stupidly should be a crime. But in Arizona stupidly is a crime and if that is the case Sgt. Thomas Lovejoy should be charged with a crime just like civilians are when they commit the crime of stupidly in Arizona. But as we can see here, when the police commit crimes they are rarely charge with a crime.
I am sure that when you get to the level of a commander in the Chandler Police Department you are not a junior weenie police officer wearing diapers and still wet behind the ears. I suspect Commander Joe Gaylord in this case has 10 to 20 years of working for the Chandler Police Department.
And a police officer with this much experience Commander Joe Gaylord certainly knows that animal cruelty is a crime! Commander Joe Gaylord with this much experience also certainly knows that certain things like this are also a crime of neglect. Commander Joe Gaylord with this much experience also knows that in the case of Sgt. Thomas Lovejoy was guilty of either animal cruelty or some type of neglect.
What should have the high level commander in this case done like Commander Joe Gaylord? Assuming their was not a conflict of interest and that he could investigate the case fairly he should have preserved all the evidence so that it could be used against Sgt. Thomas Lovejoy. That would mean saving the body of the dead dog. That would involve taking photos of the dead dog, and photos of the police car.
But as the Chandler Police said there was a conflict of interest and they could not investigate the case fairly. So that called in Sheriff Joe to do the investigation.
What should have this wise old veteran Commander Joe Gaylord in the Chandler Police Department done then? Well he should have preserved the evidence so Sheriff Joe could use it against Sgt. Thomas Lovejoy.
Last this wise old Commander Joe Gaylord and long time veteran of the Chandler Police should also know that it is illegal to cover up a crime. That it is illegal to destroy evidence of a crime. That it is illegal to hinder the police investigation of a crime.
But what did this Chandler Police Commander Joe Gaylord do? It looks like the Chandler Police Commander Joe Gaylord intentionally had the body of the dog destroyed to prevent any police department from using it as evidence against Sgt. Thomas Lovejoy. The Chandler Police Commander Joe Gaylord also cleaned up the scene of the death inside to police car to prevent that from being used as evidence against Sgt. Thomas Lovejoy. And last Commander Joe Gaylord stole $299 from the City of Chandler to help cover up the crime of Sgt. Thomas Lovejoy.
It also looks like Sgt. Thomas Lovejoy is milking the system for overtime. In the articles he says he was working so much overtime that he only got 6 hours sleep in the last 48 because he was working so much overtime for the Chandler Police.
I doubt that a cop or anybody else can put in that much overtime and be productive.
September 12, 2007 - 11:13AM
Probe: Cops cleaned K-9 car, had dog cremated
Nick Martin, Tribune
After a Chandler police dog died in a hot car, his handler and two other officers used bleach and water to clean out the vehicle, according to a sheriff’s office report released late Tuesday.
Read PDF of Maricopa County Sheriff's Office investigation
One of the officers, a commander, then paid $299 with a city credit card to have the dog cremated at a nearby veterinary clinic, the report states.
The actions left little physical evidence for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to examine when it launched a criminal case against the dog’s handler, Sgt. Thomas Lovejoy, just days later.
Lovejoy was arrested a week ago today on suspicion of animal cruelty.
The report, which contained details of the investigation, was released at 9:50 p.m. Tuesday by a Maricopa County sheriff’s spokesman, and almost immediately it became a lightning rod for criticism.
“This process has not been fair for Sgt. Lovejoy,” said Officer Paul Babeau, president of the Chandler officers’ union. “A normal citizen would not be treated this way.”
Babeau first criticized the sheriff’s handling of the case last week, and on Tuesday night he said the fact that the report was released to the news media at the eleventh hour left little time for Lovejoy’s allies to respond.
He first learned about the release of the report through a call from the Tribune, he said.
MCSO releases report on Chandler canine death
New details in death investigation of police K-9
Little sleep and family issues, that's what a report just released by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office details as to why Chandler police Sergeant Tom Lovejoy left his police canine Bandit in the car last month, resulting in the dog's death.
According to the report, Lovejoy left the dog in his car for nearly 12 hours on August 11, 2007. He had picked up an extra police duty early in the morning and had little sleep. Lovejoy had taken Bandit along, which the report says, he never does on extra shifts. When he got off work early that morning, the report says he drove home and received a call about his son being in a car accident. The report details how Lovejoy forgot the dog in the car to deal with personal matters.
It wasn't until late at night he found Bandit dead in the back seat of the car. The report outlines what Lovejoy's wife told investigators "She said her husband was distraught and crying and saying over and over that he had killed his dog." Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio arrested Lovejoy for animal cruelty.
Chandler Police Union President Paul Babeu said that was too extreme and that Lovejoy didn't intend to hurt Bandit.
Babeu said, "There clearly is no intention to harm, nevermnid, cause actions that result in the death of his partner and canine that he trained with and worked with everyday.""
But according to the report, it found Lovejoy should be charged with animal cruelty "...based on his extensive canine training and 4.5 years of experience as a canine handler..."
Meantime, Lovejoy will appear in court at the end of September. According to the report, his wife told sheriff's investigators 400 police officers are planning to call in sick on the day her husband appears in court.
K-9 case details emerge
He's at the heart of a growing law-enforcement clash, an outraged public and a media frenzy.
Bandit, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois police K-9, died Aug. 11 after his Chandler police handler, Sgt. Tom Lovejoy, forgot him in a hot police vehicle for more than 12 hours.
On Wednesday, the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police blasted Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for arresting Lovejoy on suspicion of animal cruelty, a misdemeanor.
And a detailed report from Arpaio's office offered new insight into Lovejoy's actions and how the Chandler Police Department responded in the immediate aftermath.
Among the key findings:
• A Chandler police commander took the dog's body to an animal hospital late that Saturday night to have it cremated prior to a formal investigation, then cleaned out Lovejoy's patrol vehicle with bleach and water.
• A fellow K-9 officer, who was the first to respond to Lovejoy's home after the dog's body was discovered, believed Lovejoy was so distraught over the dog's death that he asked Lovejoy's wife to hide his service weapon, fearing Lovejoy might harm himself.
• Lovejoy had only slept six hours in the two days leading up to the incident, partly because he worked two different extra-duty shifts. He was so tired he fell back asleep and had to be called a second time on his cellphone by dispatch early that morning to respond to what police believed was a sighting of the Chandler serial rapist, still on the loose.
The same day of the arrest, Sept. 5, Arpaio held a media conference discussing Lovejoy, citing that 98 percent of animal-abuse suspects are booked into jail facilities and the rest are cited.
Two police unions have since issued statements decrying Arpaio's decision.
"If an official charge was in order, a citation or summons was most appropriate, and the situation did not warrant a full custody arrest and booking into your jail facility," read a statement released Wednesday by the state police chiefs group. "It is inconceivable to this Association that the merits of this case did not fall within the 2 percent of cases in which you would cite and release."
Chandler's police union earlier issued two statements, calling the Sheriff's Office's decision unfair.
The group's president, Paul Babeu, added in a Monday press conference: "Clearly the agenda here is not as clean as we expect . . . now we have an elected official who is seeking another term, who is seeking headlines."
Arpaio says he doesn't treat anyone differently, even if they are law enforcement officers, and that he's not the one seeking press coverage through news releases.
"I'm a little upset at this chiefs of police association for going after me, criticizing my policies," Arpaio said Wednesday. "I don't criticize how they run their departments.
"No police chief or bureaucrat is going to tell this sheriff how to do his job."
Chandler police Cmdr. Joe Gaylord, who responded to the scene that night after Lovejoy discovered the dead dog, and Chandler Police Chief Sherry Kiyler declined to comment on the report Wednesday, said Sgt. Rick Griner, a Chandler police spokesman. City spokesman Jim Phipps said Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn and City Manager Mark Pentz are waiting for the results of the Chandler Police Department's internal investigation before they comment.
The sheriff's report shows that the morning of Aug. 11 was hectic for Lovejoy and the afternoon was busy but leisurely and included looking at dogs at Maricopa County Animal Care & Control for police-dog prospects. When he finally discovered Bandit's body later that night, Lovejoy was distraught.
At 10:05 p.m., Lovejoy went to his police vehicle to retrieve items for the next day and noticed the stench that smelled like "stale hot water" and "a shape" in the back, the report shows. At first he thought it was a T-shirt or towel that Bandit pulled from elsewhere in the car. Lovejoy turned on the lights and realized it was Bandit.
"Sgt. Lovejoy tells me he is in immediate disbelief," said sheriff's Detective R. Simonson in his report. "He couldn't understand how the dog got in the vehicle . . . (his daughter) went into the house and was wailing that Bandit's dead."
In the report, Gaylord does not explain why he decided to take Bandit's body to a veterinarian's office to be cremated within hours of the discovery.
Gaylord took digital photos of the scene and the vehicle. He told sheriff's investigators he believed disposing of the dog's body was in the best interest of Lovejoy, because the sergeant was distraught. Gaylord also said he determined that night that based upon how Phoenix police handled a similar incident with a K-9 death earlier in the year, there would be no need for a criminal investigation, and that Chandler police would conduct an internal investigation.
Gaylord paid $299 to the animal clinic that night for cremation, using a city-issued credit card, then paid extra from his own funds to purchase an urn for the dog's ashes, which he planned to give to Lovejoy.
Lovejoy is scheduled to appear in county court in Chandler on Sept. 25 at 9 a.m.
Republic reporter Ryan Kost contributed to this article.