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N.M. Cop who Had Sex on Hood Didn't Commit a Crime

September 01, 2011  | 

Photo: Santa Fe County (N.M.) Sheriff's Department.
Photo: Santa Fe County (N.M.) Sheriff's Department.
The New Mexico State Police officer caught on video surveillance cameras having sex with a woman on a car hood didn't commit a crime, but could lose his job for publicly embarrassing the department.

The state trooper, who has been identified as Bert Lopez, has been placed on administrative leave. Because Officer Lopez was wearing his uniform, he would be considered on duty even if he had finished his shift, the state police's Sgt. Tim Johnson told KRQE-TV.

The woman seen in the photos wasn't involved in any of the officer's cases. Officer Lopez is an eight-year veteran who was named officer of the year for the Santa Fe division in 2009.

Source: KRQE

Related:

N.M. State Police Investigate Trooper Caught Having Sex on Car Hood

Tags: New Mexico State Police, Officer Misconduct, Professional Image, Sex On Duty


Comments (46)

Displaying 1 - 46 of 46

RICHARD ISAACS @ 9/1/2011 4:44 PM

GOOD TIMES, GOOD TIMES. CAN'T BELIEVE I MADE IT TO RETIREMENT. OF COURSE IN MY DAY ON THE STREETS THE VIDEO PHONES, PENS AND MINI CAMERAS DIDN'T EXIST. THESE DAYS YOU HAVE TO LOOK FOR CAMERAS IN A WOMEN'S VA JJ, AS OPRAH WOULD PUT IT.

George @ 9/1/2011 4:45 PM

I'm a 30 year veteran of Law Enforcement. This incident does not call for the firing of an excellent veteran officer. Disclplinary action, mabe some time off without pay and/or a transfer associated with big ass chewing. Yes, the departments image is temporarily stained and he should be made to apologize for that to his fellow officers. Just keep in mind the general publics memory isn't even long enough to remember how Obama screwed this country up his first year in office. This incident will soon be lost in history so don't jump through you administrative butt and over react. Keep a good office. It cost a lot more to get another one and train him or her.

Paul @ 9/1/2011 4:48 PM

She needs to re-think her choice of boyfriends. If the guys too cheap to get a decent motel/hotel room what's next? Watching DVD's in the back of a mini-van and microwave popcorn?

Dave @ 9/1/2011 4:51 PM

George, I disagree. I'm a retired Sgt. Officers are expected to use good judgement, on-duty and off duty. This is extreme poor judgement. He should be arrested for lewd conduct in a public place.

Ty @ 9/1/2011 4:54 PM

I agree with George. He should not be fired. Get a suspension. Say sorry and let him keep doing his job. Why lose a good officer over some bs. The public will forget soon enough something else happens. Then they van rub that person in the dirt until some one else messes up and then they foget about that too. People are easily amused and quick to forget and move on

Ray @ 9/1/2011 5:01 PM

Sorry guys but Dave is right. Professionals subscribe to a higher code of conduct. Our Code of Ethics was hard won and besides character is what is left when nobody is looking.

JC @ 9/1/2011 5:05 PM

Do not fire this officer. Made a mistake? Yeah. But don't fire him over a legal piece of a$$.

Scott @ 9/1/2011 5:08 PM

Yup,,,, Dave is right. We all need to set the standard, I bet Trooper Lopez would cite someone else for doing exactly what he did if he were to ride up and see it. His actions are and embarrasement to us all.

Scooter @ 9/1/2011 5:09 PM

Hood ornament!

Kyle in Waco @ 9/1/2011 5:20 PM

It takes only one "Oh-shoot" to erase a thousand attaboys. First, it must be a sin, secondly, if his judgement allows him to do this, I would not want to encounter an LEO who uses poor judgement in other situations. <><

Paul @ 9/1/2011 5:20 PM

@ Scott, What would Trooper Lopez cite them for if he found someone else doing this. They have already said he committed NO crime !! Sex out in the middle of no where is not a crime. He was caught by a hidden camera that he did not know was there. I'm sure he is ready to take his lumps and go back to work and continue doing a great job for the State. As for his trist with the young Lady I'm not embarrassed at all !! @ Dave , again the sex was not in a public place. Sorry for you if the only place a consenting couple is allowed to have sex is in a bedroom behind locked doors !!!! WOW

Tom @ 9/1/2011 5:34 PM

If the camera is the only witness then charges would not in my mind be appropriate. Everyone makes mistakes during their career but this one was no doubt beyond poor judgement which will likely reflect negatively on his department. If it is an isolated incident during his 8 years, then a suspension and probation is probably in order. Due to the national media, one officer's poor judgement can affect public support in general and make the job harder for those who act professionally during their careers.

Phil Magroin @ 9/1/2011 7:02 PM

This used to take place on a daily basis, and we were no less professional then than now. Take a big piece of his butt, and send him out to sin no more. Why dump a good cop for some of what admin considers "professional" nowadays?

mack burd @ 9/1/2011 7:20 PM

THIS IS A CRIME.Lewd conduct including sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse in public and public nudity falls under public indecency. In US, state laws prohibits exposure of the genitals and/or the female breast in a public place. IF THIS WAS ME A BLACK MAN .I WOULD GET 20 YEARS IN THE PEN.

Previous

mack burd @ 9/1/2011 7:35 PM

police officers responded to a naked man was causing a disturbance in the lobby, police said. Officers contacted Routh and helped him leave the Cathedral City Boy’s Club, a gay men’s hotel.

About an hour later, at 11:32 p.m., police received another report that a man wearing only shorts was lying on the sidewalk of an auto center. The motorist who called 911 reported that another man was trying to help him up.

When officers arrived, they saw the shirtless man run away and try to hide. The officers chased him and took him to the ground on a grassy area, police said. The man, later identified as Routh, resisted officers as they handcuffed him.

Shortly after, officers saw that he appeared to have trouble breathing. The officers tried to help him until paramedics arrived. Routh was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, where he died.

Jerry @ 9/1/2011 8:17 PM

Sorry guys, but the standard of a LEO should be to a higher level than civilians. Dave is right... Lewd conduct in public. If he arrests others for their misconduct why is he given a pass for his misconduct? It reflects badly on all LEO's. The public already believes that LEO's act "above the law" and now they have proof that there is a double standard. One for the public and one for LEO's who act with complete disregard for themselves, their department, the public and the law.

Pete Williford @ 9/1/2011 8:55 PM

This guy was OFF DUTY! If the department fires him because he is considered on duty because he is in uniform, they will rue the day they set that precedent! I can see the dollars in wages and workmans comp that will have to be paid by the agency!

bcmc25 @ 9/1/2011 9:06 PM

So, where do you draw the line? How stupid does one have to be before they finally figure out "Gee I guess that was kind of stupid". If it's not job related (which this is not) and you have to think about it before you do something really stupid, then maybe you shouldn't do it. This job is not rocket science and I don't wear a helmet because I fly space ships. It's a very simple rule, Do what your suppose to do when your suppose to do it not what you want to do, just do your job. Life is made up of choices and God has given us free will to choose, so choose wisely. Then be adult enough to face the results of our choice.

Stuart Umlauf @ 9/1/2011 9:33 PM

Based on this officers exemplary record and award he should not be terminated from his employment. While sex in public is not for me, what are the surroundings of this incident. Was it a private parking lot, alley or secluded area? Did he embarrass the department? Yes. Will the general public forget this incident? Yes, they will. I do not believe they will forget the deeds that awarded him officer of the year 2010. Give him time off with out pay. Let him return to work and continue his service and effort that awarded him officer of the year.

Sgt. T. L . LIND; WVSP Ma @ 9/1/2011 9:53 PM

Frankly, yes poor judgement on the Troopers part. A crime, no, dependant on your jurisdiction. A violation of Policy and Procedure most definitely! So thus warranting a disciplinary action. So dole out the suspension and move on. Im sure the Trooper will be ashamed and embarrassed. But in my younger days if thats the worst a Trooper did so be it. There are far worse offenses being committed by officers that arent vetted properly! The papparazzi citizens will forget when the next big so called scandal comes around or pursuit with a use of force or shooting. They are like high chicks in a locker room nothing but gossip.

RB @ 9/2/2011 4:53 AM

With over 33 years in law enforcement I have seen some officers (both young and old) do some pretty stupid things. Some of these have been fired others disciplined. The bottom line is that we are unfortunately still human and yes we are held to a higher standard but keep in mind the punishment must fit the crime. Getting laid on the hood of a car and getting fired or thumping on some dirtbag and getting wrote up just don't line up (this is real world administration). So my feeling is give him some time off without pay, put him on probation, give him a good ass chewing, then remind the remaining officers that they will be held accountable for their behavior.

DP in QC @ 9/2/2011 5:29 AM

Did he make a mistake here? Yep, should not have done this in uniform. But let's look at the facts, or possibilities:

If he was not on-shift, was not in public view, (at least that he knew about) is not married to someone else, and the female is a willing partner, is this really that big of a deal? The female may just be living out a fantasy. No one was harmed. They obviously didn't know about the camera. "Dave" says "He should be arrested for lewd conduct in a public place" How do you know this was a public place? The camera suggest's that it was private property. I see this as a consensual act that they "thought" was in a private place. As long as he was off the clock, I don't see much that can be done as far as suspension, etc. Poor decision? Maybe. Criminal? Absolutely not. What if they had been in a motel room? Would you want him penalized for being in uniform? I'm guessing a LOT of police officers have engaged in such activity with their significant others while in uniform. Should they be suspended too?

jt @ 9/2/2011 7:26 AM

Has anyone noticed the direct view (I assume it to be her dog) standing betwen the Officers legs? Mans best friend at his best.

Awesome @ 9/2/2011 7:42 AM

Any man will make a mistake with the right woman in the right mood, but in the wrong place. If no law was broken and the man was off duty, then I suggest that his superiors employ a little forgiveness, as well as a sense of humor.

Randy @ 9/2/2011 7:59 AM

Wow... Remember the "Stains on the Blue Dress" and our wonderful president of the United States. He kept right on serving and the everyone seemed say oh well... We needed a video of him and that cigar. Criminals are put on probation and cases dismissed all over this country because people have no history or have "just made a mistake". There is a huge investment in this guy, he made a big mistake but I bet he is a good officer who made a really stupid mistake. Welcome to the wide world or cameras ever where...

Randy @ 9/2/2011 8:10 AM

Wow... Remember the "Stains on the Blue Dress" and our wonderful president of the United States. He kept right on serving and the everyone seemed say oh well... We needed a video of him and that cigar. Criminals are put on probation and cases dismissed all over this country because people have no history or have "just made a mistake". There is a huge investment in this guy, he made a big mistake but I bet he is a good officer who made a really stupid mistake. Welcome to the wide world or cameras ever where...

krisnlc @ 9/2/2011 8:10 AM

I respect that he is a good officer and recognized, but he is not an excellent officer otherwise he would have taken the time to represent his department properly.... if the former officers count on the public forgetting, then we already have a problem... i agree it costs alot to train another officer, but this one should have been trained enough to not do this... if Administration decides termination is the outcome, then let it be... He should not be doing this in uniform bottom line...

sean @ 9/2/2011 8:37 AM

Poor judgement yes should he be fired no its not like u can see a city patch or a marked police car and there was no claim of rape the city dept should have handled this internally they were the ones who put this on the public radar

Chris @ 9/2/2011 8:57 AM

No, some of the best cops on the street are ornery and get into some off color incidents once in a while, but don't be so thin skinned as to call for their total demise. The trouble is, many of today's police officers cannot make every day common sense judgements, because they have to go by the cookbook on each and every routine they carry out. They cannot think for themselves, since a lot of departments mandate their every move. So, the easy way out is to make everything black and white and not allow gray to come into the picture.... Robocops, per se. That is sad. And if you think people respect you because you are hard lined, bible beating pillar of the community, you have another thing coming....

Ed @ 9/2/2011 9:11 AM

You all make great points. However, reactionary decision making is not the answer in either direction. We do not have enough information to make a decision. I agree with George if this is all there is to it. Most agencies give a break to an officer who gets a first DUI. This is not as bad as a DUI, in my opinion and if off duty. I like the ethical line Dave has taken. Again, this is more lip service in most agencies these days than it is the practice. If his agency has a known and ADHERED to ethical standard then the cards fall where they may; Lopez would know the consequences if he stepped out of line. Not enough information. It is ashame for us all that we even have to discuss these matters.

Justice Guy @ 9/2/2011 10:07 AM

He should have been charged with a crime just as ANY citizen woud have. All in public service are 24/7 employees. If you think he should not be punished I am glad you don't work in my town

B.L. in KS @ 9/2/2011 10:08 AM

Is that a DOG or CAT between his fee?????

tricklecheekblue @ 9/2/2011 10:38 AM

I admit he should deserve a punishment but unless this is a continuing problem with this guy he shouldn't be fired. Women & men sexually advance on uniformed people constantly. Doesn't make his/her lack of judgment right but firing him/her constitutes perfection which is NOT a requirement of the job, discretion-yes, perfection-NO! I am not discounting the man's actions but it is hard when Joe or Josey Q. Public is begging you for it and you need to release energy. Just saying unless the boy can't learn from repeated disciplinary actions, total dismissive actions seem a bit harsh for that burning hunger down yonder.

Boston Finest @ 9/2/2011 10:49 AM

Law enforcement personnel are held too high expectations but they do make mistakes as everyone else does. If he owed up to his actions why bother with disciplinary actions but if he lied he should be disciplined because he would be a person of no character. #Oath

vkc @ 9/2/2011 11:51 AM

Bert needs to examine his choice of tail. He should be suspended at least 180 working days. Did anyone notice the view the camera was set to catch ???

Mike @ 9/2/2011 4:17 PM

Get rid of him! He should be held to a higher standard! The article states that she was not involved in any of his cases, that is because she is probably doing that to keep it that way. In today's day and age, you have to assume that someone is watching! This time he was caught. How many other times has this happened and he didn't get caught. Beleive me, this incident will open Pandora's box, and no, that is not her name.

David @ 9/2/2011 6:14 PM

Contrary to what some people seem to believe, Law Enforcement Officers should be held to a higher standard. The public needs to be able to trust our judgement. If he finds this type of activity acceptable, what else might he find acceptable? Not only is he an embarassment to his department, but also an embarrasment to the entire state. Not to mention the entire Law Enforcement profession. If this is a demonstration of his judgement skills (or lack thereof), then his "Officer of the year award" needs to be put into question as well. If this officer had any respect for himself and his agency, he would resign.

JJG @ 9/2/2011 7:41 PM

It was that damned Chihuahua that turned him in. LOL.

GLENN @ 9/3/2011 2:23 PM

WE HAD THE SAME KIND OF INCIDENT IN OUR DEPARTMENT AND AFTER A THOROUGH ASS CHEWING, THE WATCH COMMANDER SAID,

BY THE WAY, HOW WAS IT?"

OLD SGT. @ 9/3/2011 3:00 PM

I don't believe firing this trooper is good judgement either! There is an idividual here that should have used better judgement for this event
The female partner is apparently completely consenting and no official complaint was filed. A suspension would be more appropriate especially for an exemplary officer. Let's not forget they are Human beings that need a stress reliever too!

Mary in Denver @ 9/4/2011 2:32 PM

I am a Criminal Justice Studnt currently and I think that Officer Lopez's actions were not only an embarrassment to the force but also to the public he acted like a male sexestpig instead of like an officer who serves and protects this is why society is so jacked up today because of people like him. He dosen't deserve to wear his badge. I agree that he would probably ticket someone else for the same thing or maybe he would join them in the activity.It's totally inappropriate behavior.

Carter @ 9/5/2011 4:37 AM

You guys his uniform is coming off. He is trying!

disagree with george @ 9/5/2011 7:24 AM

i disagree with george.... Obama did not screw up the country in his first year. He has to fix what BRUSH

disagree with george @ 9/5/2011 7:25 AM

OBAMA HAD TO FIX WHAT BRUSH F*** UP!!!!!!!!

Mark @ 9/5/2011 1:09 PM

Well, they released this guy from NMSP this week. Hope the piece was worth loosing his job! He has 30 days to appeal the release.

Brad @ 8/17/2012 1:36 PM

How many chances does an 8 year vet get? If this does not stop a career what does? Do you want this officer transporting your intoxicated or mentally ill female family member across the State in the dark? If he has been caught doing this what else is he doing? And on and on.

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