Over 45 Alameda County Sheriff’s Office deputies are assigned to desk duty after their pre-employment psychological evaluation scores are too low to allow them to continue as law enforcement officers.
At least 30 of the 47 deputies are assigned to the jail while the others are spread out across different divisions at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s been heartbreaking to have to bring in these individuals, especially the ones who have been here a long period of time since 2016 – and basically telling them we’re suspending your peace officer duties,” Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Ray Kelly said.
The decision comes after the former Santa Rita Jail Deputy Devin Williams Jr.’s involvement in the Dublin murder.
The Sheriff’s Office audited all hires since 2016 and sent a letter to 47 deputies with a “D. Not Suited” evaluation score, stating they “cannot serve as a peace officer.”
“We had no choice but to suspend their peace officer powers, which would ultimately open up the individual officers, and the agency and the county to liability,” Kelly said.
Kelly said officials at the State Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission had allowed the sheriff’s office to hire deputies as long as they did not get an “F” on the evaluations.
“Every year they audit our background files,” Kelly said. “They did not tell us that we were doing anything wrong. We were even given permission by a member at the post commission that said we could hire the ‘D. Not Suited’ candidates.”
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office would not disclose whether Devin Williams Jr. was one of the hires after 2016 or got a low psych evaluation per the HIPPA privacy protections.