As disappointing as it is that another Oregon law enforcement officer has broken faith with the public by committing official misconduct, there is a silver lining in the case of Woodburn detective Timothy Cobos.
Cobos was sentenced in Marion County Circuit Court last week to 18 months of probation and 40 hours of community service after pleading guilty to three counts of official misconduct. The detective, who also surrendered his police certification, had sex on duty multiple times and was also accused of using a law enforcement database to benefit a girlfriend.
So where exactly is the good news? It comes in the statement made by Woodburn Police Chief Jim Ferraris at Cobos' sentencing. Ferraris did not mince his words in condemning Cobos' actions. Noting that he was representing the "40 sworn and professional staff men and women who are the Woodburn Police Department," Ferraris observed that "holding Mr. Cobos accountable for his betrayal and the disrespect of our badge and the law, and seeing that he never, ever wears a police uniform again is exactly how I should back my officers."
That's a telling statement that shows the chief recognizes that the integrity of his department and his employees depends on their willingness to call out and hold accountable those few individuals who compromise the professional and ethical standards that they hold dear.Giving Cobos a pass for his years of service would only bring down the reputation of the others who represent the Woodburn Police Department.