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N.M. Police Fire Officer who Had Sex on Car Hood

September 04, 2011  | 

Photo: Santa Fe County (N.M.) Sheriff's Department. 
Photo: Santa Fe County (N.M.) Sheriff's Department. 
The New Mexico State Police have fired an officer caught having sex with a woman on the hood of a Honda at a remote ranch in Santa Fe County.

The Department of Public Safety informed Officer Bert Lopez late this week that he was fired, reports Geoff Grammer of The New Mexican. A state police spokesman declined to provide additional details, citing the officer's 30-day window to appeal the decision.

State police identified the officer, after two images from a surveillance camera at the county's La Bajada Ranch reached Sheriff Robert Garcia, who forwarded them to the state police. The officer was depicted having sex with a woman wearing ballet slippers with a Chihuahua looking on. He won't face criminal charges.

Officer Lopez, an eight-year veteran, was named officer of the year for the Santa Fe division in 2009. He had been given a challenge coin for going beyond the call of duty in July.

Source: The New Mexican.

Related:

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

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 (37)

Displaying 1 - 37 of 37

Mary @ 9/4/2011 1:41 PM

Officer Bert Lopez used inappropriate behavior while on duty. It sends out a message to the public that he can show and act in a sexual way in the public while on duty and in uniform. Quite trashy not classy. I do believe that he should have been fired. This is why society is so jacked up today because people like him who are in an authoritive position think that it is acceptable for them to act as an animal in the public eye whenever they choose. This is how law enforcement officers who do a great job get a bad name. He dosen't deserve to wear a badge becasue he dosen't know how to wear his pants properly to serve and protect. CARMA works great when disgusting people like him get caught. Thank you, Mary M.

Criminal Justice Student

Boston's Finest @ 9/5/2011 6:18 AM

What happpened to progressive discipline? This is over the top!

D mil @ 9/5/2011 6:18 AM

I am glad he was fired. It is an embarrassment to all the fine officers out there and demeans the badge! Good decision! (did the other person mean Karma?)

OLD SGT @ 9/5/2011 6:52 AM

The New Mexico State Police administration should follow the rules also. Progressive discipline was apparently ignored in this case!

I would ENCOURAGE an appeal by Trooper Lopez. This firing seems way to harsh for this incident while OFF DUTY!

Crispian A Barlow @ 9/5/2011 7:48 AM

How is a member of the public going to know he was off duty? Seems to me he should show more respect for his uniform and collegues...

Tom @ 9/5/2011 7:49 AM

I beg to differ with your comments about officer Lopez. He was not in public until someone took this photo and posted it to the public. He was on a remote ranch in Santa Fe County away from the public eye. And I'm sure had he known that camera was there he would have not been in front of it. How do you know that was not his wife or girl friend who never gets to see him because he is always working on the weekends protecting you ass? People wake up and stop being lead around by the media.

FUBAR @ 9/5/2011 8:02 AM

Well,I don't think he'll be getting a challenge coin this time for going
beyond the call of duty.By the way,a REAL warrior removes his AR before having a special moment with his lady.

Courtjester @ 9/5/2011 8:55 AM

For those of you who cry progressive discipline, would the same standard apply if he was caught stealing? His behavior while on duty is nothing more than him stealing from the tax payer. He wasn't doing his job, plain and simple. Its one thing to decide to sit on the side of the road and take a few hours of veg time but come on! No one would agree to reward him his hourly rate to have sex on the hood of a car. I do not recall ever being taught you can get your rocks off on duty. His responsibilities to the citizens of his State were to fight crime and evil and place his needs below those he was SWORN to protect. I do notice that some of the posts concerning progressive discipline are from big union states which just shows how intitled we have become. The tax payers are tired of those of us who believe we can do what we want when we want without conciquences. We are our own worst enemy and this yoyo proves my point. IMHO, He took an oath to serve therefor he is a servant of the public and he broke his oath. He is a theif and a liar and does not deserve to wear the badge. Had he been in Florida he would have been fired and de-certified. At least he keeps his ticket in NM.

RV @ 9/5/2011 9:51 AM

Remember people. WE ARE HUMAN...Yes he made a mistake in judgement and should be disciplined by his deparment. As far as I'm conerned,this looks like a Set Up to me.He should not be fired. Maybe suspended without pay for 30 days.....that's it....His past good record has to count for something. He ddn't suddenly become a bad cop in one day people.....come on. In any profession people make mistakes...No one is perfect. He probably can't believe he made such a stupid mistake and is beating himself up inside. All I'm saying is give the guy a break..He didn't become a bad cop overnight....So why push to take away his profession just as fast. Put yourself in his shoes and maybe you'll understand. I'm going to say a prayer for him and hope he can keep his job and learn fro this stupid mistake. God Bless

Allan @ 9/5/2011 9:56 AM

For those of you condoning this clown's behavior and suggesting he should appeal, you are entitled to your opinion and yes Lopez has this opportunity, but come on!!! What he did, whether on duty or off is a disgrace. A complete disgrace to all us officers who work hard to instill the trust and respect of the communities we work in. He and others like him manage to completely ruin all the hard word others put forth. And their are those who suggest he was an excellent officer. There is more to being an excellent officer or role model than just putting criminals in jail - much more and having sex on the hood of a car isn't one of the qualifications. He tarnished a badge that so many have died for.. Inexcusable!

David @ 9/5/2011 10:01 AM

Read the articles folks, he was OFF DUTY and NOT in a state vehicle. He was NOT on the side of the road, he was in the middle of a private ranch. He wears that badge to protect your right to free speech as well, get your facts straight before you exercise that right!

Eric @ 9/5/2011 10:28 AM

The only reason he was fired is because the incident brought embarrassment to the agency. I do not approve of his conduct and feel punishment is warranted but this is overkill. He certainly tried to find a discrete location. I am sure NM has a post in the midle of nowhere they could have transfered him to. This incident will be forgotten in a few months by everone except Lopez. Just staying on the job with all his fellow officers knowing would be bad enough. If all the cops were church going momma's boys they would never win a fight against evil. What other place would this be a firing offence. Certainly nothing in DC.

notmeofficer @ 9/5/2011 1:00 PM

Can you lose you job for being just plain stupid.. sure you can...
Add the uniform.. jeesh..

Waste of a career...

I guess the discipline depends on prior similar cases metered by the quality of the individual...

Just plain stupid

donut_plz @ 9/5/2011 1:05 PM

Progressive discipline??? Why would anyone think that would be appropriate? Onb or off duty he discgraced his Department, violating many rules and regs in the process.

People like him do not deserve to be Officers. I dont care if it is his first time, BUT we all know it isnt......

Im tired of taking all kinds of crap over dirt bags like this guy.

donut_plz @ 9/5/2011 1:09 PM

Its ok because he tried to find a discreet location to bag some fender lizard? Geez.....

Will it be OK to hide a body if he didnt mean to kill them?

Im so glad my career is winding down. No wonder this profession is getting an asskickin in the media.....

EB @ 9/5/2011 3:28 PM

I was surprised to read some of the comments in support of this fired officer. The fact that he is in uniform engaged in this behavior is a disgrace. Not only does it bring discredit to his department but to our profession as a whole. Now his fellow officers have to put up with the antics of one person.

And as to the comment that it wasn't in public until it was posted, would you condone that behavior if he went to visit this girl at her house while in uniform?

Get Real! @ 9/5/2011 4:11 PM

To @ Mary & courtjerkoff, i mean jester. Ist of all he was off duty not on duty. and he didn't commit a crime. Any DA or Ca worth their salt wouldn't waste the tax payers $$ with filling the case, for 2 reasons. #1 it wasn't done in public and # 2 someone has to be offened by it, during the commissioning of the crime, while it's being done in view of the public. So, Mary continue with your criminal justice edumacation, just study a little harder. Maybe you should get bent over the hood a couple of times to help you with getting that stick outta yer a**! Again @ court jerkoff, I sure hope your not an officer, or worse yet a detective, cause your obs skills suk. If you would have read and paid attention to the article it specificaly said he was off duty so, he wasn't steeling from the public. If you knew the first thing about the penal code you would know that he didn't commit a crime, and 3rdly, it never mentions anything about him lying, yet your dumb a** calls him a liar! Typical democrat, willing to bend the truth to fit your social agenda. What he did was called "Conduct unbecoming an officer." which pertains to conduct on and off duty, and his punishment should match his misconduct, along with looking at his past conduct/record. Lastly, let me leave you with this, If the department was so worried about their image why the hell did they release the pictures in the first place? Hypocrits! Sounds to me like some chief or mayor needs a little lesson in common sense and descretion, but we all know how discipline goes at that level. Just ask Mr. Clinton, now there's a pic I woulda liked to have seen Lol

Deadman @ 9/5/2011 4:52 PM

1).That's not a police cruiser like first reported.

2).Those shoes of hers are Sketchers athletic shoes.

3).Just because he is in uniform doesn't mean he is on duty.

4).She appears to be looking at the camera,(Smile,You're on Candid Camera!).Is this a set-up,it sure appears to be either by a fellow officer that doesn't like him or perhaps,somebody that he arrested,that wants to discredit him and his possible testimony.It seems to me that the department doesn't care and is not using due diligents to sort out the facts and are throwing him to the wolves because he got caught with his fly open.How many officers and i mean gold badges also had sex on duty,with their wife,girlfriend,groupie or hooker?I'll bet,maybe half of the department.

5).It supposedly is at a ranch out of public eye.

6).Where did this picture come from,somebody,obviously doesn't like him.

7).Isn't firing him a little harsh for the alleged offense or does the brass feel like they should lower the boom on him to make him an example,but will let him counter(plea-bargain)to a lessor offense.It is all chicken-crap and you know it unless she is proven to be a juvenile or the wife or daughter of a fellow officer,then let the chips fall where they may,meanwhile,the illegals are coming across the border in truck loads and the departments lower themselves to this crap.

I told my chief one time that i wouldn't be attending an awards ceremony because i know i did a good job and their basically cheap efforts to award my efforts were hypocritical because they would just try to fire me in a couple of weeks on trumped up charges and they tried.I got my reward of thanks from the woman whose life i saved.The brass are just responding to the anger from the politicians they serve.

dingo3497 @ 9/5/2011 5:12 PM

Inexcusable YES, forgivable YES, discipline action required,YES

Officer Lopez made a mistake, a mistake he will have to live with for the rest of his life, but he deserves a second chance. WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES!

Retired Chief @ 9/5/2011 5:22 PM

Progressive discipline? Seems like those cops who do wrong always want this kind of discipline, no matter what they do. Some things cops do advances the progressive discipline to the top of the chart. I'm sure the case was thoroughly investigated before any assumptions were made from the photo/s. Some people would have liked the chief to call
him on his cell phone, tell him when he's through not to do it again. That's the "Progressive Discipline" of today. Morals are going down the drain today. The "If it feels good, do it" mentality is so popular now. I'm glad he got fired. This is inappropriate behavior. At least the cops of the past did sneak around when they committed adultery. Still wrong, but wasn't out in the open. Video, the Internet, and officer loyalty has gone from the ranks of the "Men in blue."

Tom @ 9/5/2011 6:45 PM

The public exposure of this case no doubt sealed the officer's fate. If you are in uniform consider yourself on duty whether on the clock or not. The public will be noting your behavior. No doubt the officer did not think anyone was looking but unfortunately for him someone was. The police want and need the public's cooperation and respect so they
can operate effectively. That requires police to act professionally especially while in uniform which this officer did not do. The only question is whether he should be fired or suspended due to his prior 8 years of service. Mamma boys have a hard time with the realities of the street but alley cats bring dishonor to themselves and their departments. The best officers are neither of these.

GP Cobb @ 9/5/2011 9:12 PM

Judge not least ye shall be judged. Along with the naysayers, poof be gone, it's probably his wife and on his own land. I can make as good as assumptions as those who want cops to be celibant. What hipocratic BS I read. Rant over.

Kevin O'Brien @ 9/5/2011 9:30 PM

Disregard the emotional aspect of OH MY GAWD, SEX!, and there is no way this conduct should give rise to the level of a termination offenses, Aside from the old blue-haired ladies and their geriatric curmugeon husbands who all see nothing recreational in sexual activity, no one else cares! Yes, there is hysteria because it is the flavor of anti-law enforcement rhetoric de jour, but 30 days from now no one will even remember the incident at all! There is NO long-term damage to the image or ethical profile of the department. Suspend the officer for the statutory maximum of pre-termination 30 days and place him on equivocal notice that he's one step from the door for the next 12 months and allow the guy to self-correct. Replacing an officer can cost a department upwards of $100,000 in costs, training and salary through the probation period. Take a month's pay away from the officer and send him back to work. The taxpayers are the one's being punished for this incident! Geez - GET OVER IT ALREADY!

KMO

30 years behind the badge and I've seen plenty to really justify a termination. This is not one of them!

DaveSAM25G @ 9/5/2011 11:03 PM

“First off; the shooting of officer in FL should have been number one story on this top news on-target blog, not this one on the hood one!!” I have mixed feelings on this one (and my statements are based on training and personal feelings) and anyone who has experienced injustice or set-ups and then cleared knows this! What he did was wrong – I also enclosed the Standard of conduct below. When I first saw this resign came to mind but RV has a valid point in this blog entry. In order for there to be a FOIA request somebody within the video surveillance realm (saw this picture reported it) prior to FOIA released information from the County side of the house! Secondly; FACT: “There is a history between NMSP and Santa Fe County who investigated former Sheriff Greg Solano (NMSP), and current Sheriff was his undersheriff at this time. This investigation brought grave discredit on department and is there an agenda here??...If the current Sheriff does not see anything criminal about this why release it to media-and why not deal with this department to department? I want the truth and let the domino’s fall where they may…I know this area not far off -I-25…Why on hood/ when inside car available? Why facing camera area? Why door left open? And of all the remote locations why a location with surveillance camera property owned by county…Maybe (IA) should look hard at this other person- I seek the truth always!! There is a post blog by USERID DS11 on the web site subjective view I would highly recommend reading http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S2268606.shtml?cat=504

TITLE 10 PUBLIC SAFETY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

CHAPTER 5 STATE POLICE

PART 100 STANDARD OF CONDUCT

10.5.100.8 STANDARD OF CONDUCT

Bobby @ 9/6/2011 12:45 AM

First of all you do not know all the details. Lopez was thrown under the bus. He needs to appeal. Being on duty while in uniform is bullshit. You are a police officer 24/7 in or out of uniform. This was either his wife or girlfriend. He was considered off his shift. This was just a romantic meeting between two people. He did not take off his AR because it was a turn on. Even the dog knew Lopez because he was not scared. The camera was put there for people being vandals.....not to turn in photos of Lopez having sex. Sounds like somebody wanted some revenge and jumped for the opportunity to give Lopez a bad name. Police Officers are human and do things just like anybody else. There was no crime committed here and New Mexico Police need to just continue on with giving Lopez a few days suspension without pay. Talk about the department being embarassed what about Lopez. He did not think anyone was going to turn the camera recordings into the police for having sex. Sounds like somebody was sticking their nose into where it does not belong again. The next things they will say is you can not eat in your car for lunch anymore. Come on people get a life. The photo should of NEVER made it to public eyes. The management of New Mexico Police need to be fired and put someone in charge that can manage a police department. YO YO regarding he would been fired or de-certified in the state of FL.....well WRONG again. It would of never went public. What does tickets have to do with this anyway......NOT a Thing. Plus Lopez was OFF DUTY and on his way home. Do not make judgements on Police Officers if you do not know all the facts.

Mr. Patch @ 9/6/2011 1:48 AM

Maybe he was on lunch break

John @ 9/6/2011 6:04 AM

It just comes down to ethics. Apparantly this officer has none and deserved to be fired. He should have had used the brain in his head instead of the one in his pants.

SDPD Retired @ 9/6/2011 7:07 AM

I live in NM where this story has been all the news. This officer was ON-DUTY at the time of the incident, and was supposed to have been on patrol. I can tell you that other NMSP officers were demanding that he be fired. The story has gone global and has given NMSP a black eye, and everybody I know on the department wanted this guy fired just so everyone would stop talking about it. When an officer is fired from a department in NM, it is decided on a case-by-case basis whether or not the officer will be de-certified. I'm curious - those of you who think the officer should receive a brief suspension instead of termination - would you want this guy as your partner? If a NMSP officer was calling for cover a few miles away, would this officer have heard the radio and responded? If you were a chief - would you hire this officer after this demonstration of his idea of good judgment?

krisnlc @ 9/6/2011 7:40 AM

Mary M, has it right on the money... In the end the department acted appropriately in this instance. You simply cannot have the people who are upholding your laws of public conformity violate those exact norms based on urges... He is a public servant hired and trusted to uphold the laws and keep the public safe, mmm in this position, he is hardly keeping the public safe, if he is unable to respond based oh this particular action.... let him go work for a porno ring now...

Tom Ret LPD @ 9/6/2011 7:41 AM

If this officer was off duty would it be reasonable for him to be carrying a long gun slung over his shoulder? If he was on duty at the time of this image as stated by SDPD, he will have an uphill battle to get his job back and I doubt he will be successful. I don't think the public will forget about this incident anytime soon as previous writers suggest and most likely will plague his department for some time. The public is more likely to forget officers' heroic actions and what they do right.

Jack @ 9/6/2011 12:45 PM

A highly decorated Trooper gets targeted ,off duty out of the public eye and get's fired? It's not about progressive discipline but fairness. How many times do he and his brethren get screwed out of raises and ordered to work special events by politicians who they probably catch breaking the law all the time and who use their position to avoid even getting arrested?
It was his ,girl friend, out of the public eye, off duty! He should be reprimanded ,maybe some pay forfiture and that's it.

DaveSAM25G @ 9/6/2011 5:32 PM

If it was in fact under investigation, who leaked it prior to review and administrative actions- processes taking place, and why, human dignity? Last time I checked it is illegal to leak open case information people go to jail for that...due process-constitutional rights...I am not questioning what happened punishment issues that's (NMSP-Chief), but how forced as a result of media coverage?

1. Reprimands.

2. Suspension - up to 30 days without pay.

3. Dismissal...

Major lesson here awareness and you are truly never alone...I remember a saying from a veteran officer mentor-always look in your own closet before venturing into other's, and does not mean don't take action but follow the process for disciplinary actions -Think myself it would have been better to hold actions until everything was completed and not forced by media police have constitutional rights also...Time to change the state bird from roadrunner to vulture no shortage that way and attention! Do more radio roll-call status checks…good officer safety application also!

Bobby - Retired Chief @ 9/7/2011 12:39 AM

Here we go still talking about this. John - you really need to get some up to date education on what ethics are suppose to be. SDPD Retired - good thing you are since you are out of touch with the real world of law enforcement. Lopez was on a break. The AR on his shoulder was a turn on for the woman. OK so he was ON-Duty.....which is really 24/7 anyway. So what. Management should not be listening to the NMSP Officers wanting Lopez fired......who is managing the department....the Chief or Officers???? Lopez was Officer of the Year and I would work with him as my partner....Oh wait a minute....he did not have a partner being State Police. .... So that really does not apply anyway. Yes of course if a Officer needed back up several miles away...I am sure Lopez would be on his way....just like the rest of us would of been. Just how long do you think he would of been on the top of the hood anyway. HOURS??? Come on people get with it. 10 to 15 minutes is a break and about how long he was on top of the hood. Yes I would hire Lopez to work for me. I would not encourage him to take a break on the top of a hood. But I am sure he learned from this bad judgement call. That is why we have training. The people have invested a lot of money into Lopez working for over 4 years as a Police Officer. NMSP lost and another agency gain of a good patrol officer.

John @ 9/7/2011 1:56 AM

How come the robbery, burglary video's aren't clear as day.................just saying.

Bud @ 9/7/2011 7:09 AM

Sounds like New Mexico lost a decent Cop! Discipline yes, fired no...

a miller @ 2/24/2014 9:56 AM

I wish I was the lucky woman...

James @ 9/24/2014 4:35 PM

I wonder if he was married.

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