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West Sacramento police officer arrested for DUI once got award for arresting drunk drivers

By Orko Manna

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    WEST SACRAMENTO, California (KCRA) — A West Sacramento police officer arrested over the weekend for DUI once received an award for his work in arresting drunk drivers.

The California Highway Patrol arrested Raymond Barrantes just before noon Saturday after a San Joaquin County deputy saw Barrantes driving and suspected DUI, according to the West Sacramento Police Department. Barrantes was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp, but he has since bailed out.

West Sacramento police confirmed with KCRA 3 that a photo posted on the department’s Facebook page in April 2015 showed Barrantes receiving an award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, also known as MADD. The caption of the photo said Barrantes and another officer got the award “for having the most DUI arrests for our Agency in 2014.”

KCRA 3 asked MADD program specialist and law enforcement liaison Lori Bergenstock for her reaction to the fact that an officer once celebrated for catching drunk drivers is now accused of doing the same.

“I’m surprised constantly by who gets drunk driving arrests,” Bergenstock said. “One of the things we know is drunk driving is an across-the-board issue. Unfortunately … it hits every work situation.”

Bergenstock said MADD gives out awards every year to recognize officers at various departments for helping keep drunk drivers off the road. Although MADD does a lot of programming with law enforcement agencies, Bergenstock said she has not worked directly with Barrantes.

“We work very, very closely with West Sac Police Department, and we’re trusting that they’re going to handle it well internally and that the officer will be held accountable, which is what’s important to us,” Bergenstock said.

West Sacramento police told KCRA 3 that Barrantes has worked for the department for approximately nine years, and he is currently assigned as a patrol officer in the operations division.

The West Sacramento Police Department said Barrantes was off duty and was not driving a department of city-owned vehicle at the time of his arrest. Still, Police Chief Robert Strange released the following statement:

“This conduct is not in alignment with our Department’s Core Values. While this officer has fallen short, we will, as a Department, continue to work towards our mission to serve with honor and professionalism, in partnership with our community, to enhance the quality of life in West Sacramento.” Police said Barrantes is on paid administrative leave right now while the internal affairs investigation plays out. A spokesperson for the department said administrative investigations can take up to one year to complete “depending on the complexity and nature of the incident.”

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