MODESTO (CBS13) — Racy photos depicting two Modesto police officers with scantily clad women were anonymously sent to the department, the city manager and some media outlets on Tuesday.
The first set of photographs show a uniformed Modesto police officer along with two women sitting on top of a patrol car. The women are wearing revealing clothing as they pose on top of and next to a patrol car. There are seven photographs in this set.
A second set of photographs depict a different uniformed officer in what appears to be a downtown night club or restaurant standing next to a woman in a bikini top. The other photograph is of this same officer standing outside of a downtown nightclub with a woman who is signing a poster next to a patrol car.
The police department said in a press release issued Wednesday that it believes the photos are more than two years old and taken in the Downtown Entertainment District.
The department says it will conduct an internal investigation but it says the officer in the first set of photographs, which it deemed to be much more egregious than the second two, is no longer a Modesto police officer, having left the department in February 2010.
If he were still with the department, that officer would “be facing severe discipline,” according to the press release. “There is absolutely no justification or rationale that could excuse his conduct in this set of photographs.”
The second set of photographs involves an eight-year veteran Modesto officer, Yair Oaxaca. The department said in its release that although these two photos are much less suggestion, it will still investigate to determine if any policies or procedures which may have been violated.
The department added that police officers are routinely asked to be photographed with members of the community and are entrusted to use good discretion and judgment.
“The Modesto Police Department remains committed to providing professional services to our citizens. Although this incident is a blemish to the department, this behavior does not represent the hard work and commitment from the men and women of this organization” said Chief Michael Harden in a prepared statement. “We understand the importance of maintaining a professional organization and we are committed to maintaining the trust of those we serve.”