Veteran Carlsbad police officer accused of stealing drugs - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Veteran Carlsbad police officer accused of stealing drugs

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CARLSBAD (CBS8/CNS) - A veteran Carlsbad police officer was on administrative
leave following his arrest for allegedly stealing impounded narcotics
from his workplace.

Michael C. Koch, an 18-year veteran of the Carlsbad Police Department,
was arrested Thursday on suspicion of burglary. He posted $25,000 bail and was
released the following day, according to jail records.

Police Chief Gary Morrison expressed ``tremendous disappointment'' over
the 44-year-old lawman's arrest.

"All members of the Carlsbad Police Department, both sworn and
civilian, are held to the highest of standards,'' Morrison said. "We are
expected to serve the community with the highest level of professionalism,
ethics and integrity. Any breach of the public's trust that comes to the
attention of this department will be dealt with swiftly and thoroughly.''

"Numerous'' police employees witnessed the alleged crime, according to
a department statement.

The chief said he could release no further details about the case.

"As with personnel investigations, there is a limited amount of
information that can be released at this time,'' Morrison said. "Our goal as a
department is to be open and transparent within the parameters of the law.''

Koch's neighbors told News 8 he is married with two children in elementary school. Jean Potter said, "We know them. Our kids go to school together. They're a nice family," adding, "I'm kind of hoping it's a misunderstanding... or it's a mistake, because I just can't imagine. They're just really good people, so I don't understand."

Court records show that in April 2000, Koch was named as a defendant along with another officer and the city of Carlsbad, in a federal lawsuit alleging false arrest. The two plaintiffs spent the night in jail, arrested for public drunkenness, but were never charged. Carlsbad settled the civil rights case for an undisclosed amount of money.



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