Statement from Palm Bay Police Chief Doug Muldoon

Updated:

"The City has received a notice of intent to sue involving an incident that occurred more than one year ago, on February 26, 2013, in which a police officer, since retired, arrested two individuals on drug-related charges.  This notice, dated February 27, 2014, was the first time the City had received a complaint from anyone involved. The incident transpired in an area known for drug activity.

"Officer David Marcinik recorded his interactions with the two suspects on his body camera.  In reviewing the video that Officer Marcinik provided the Court as evidence in the criminal cases, Officer Marcinik was verbally aggressive in order to gain compliance by the suspects and to maintain control of the situation in order to keep everyone safe.  Through the course of the judicial process, the judge ruled Officer Marcinik’s stop, arrest and seizure of drugs in the case was legal.  The judge later dismissed the case taking issue with the officer’s techniques.

"Officer safety is an important factor to take into consideration when looking at the totality of this particular case.  Law enforcement officers are trained to perceive threats and face them on a daily basis.   If an officer does not identify and deal with specific behaviors or threatening actions that for some would not be considered a threat, it could ultimately cost an officer his or her life.  "

"We’ve seen this too many times.  In 2012, Brevard County Sheriff’s Deputy Barbara Pill was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop involving two suspects involved in a theft.  Even more recently, a call that seemed “routine”, checking on two suspicious persons that were possible runaways, ended with a Windermere police officer being shot and killed.  

"For a well-trained law enforcement officer, there is no such thing as a “routine” call, and he or she is provided with training, tools and methods to protect themselves on each and every incident in accordance with policy.  If policies are violated and those violations are brought to our attention, corrective action is immediately taken.  In this case, the officer’s techniques were never called into question until now, more than one year later.

"The Palm Bay Police Department is focused on safety for its citizens and its officers.  Our mission is to protect the public, and we do this extremely well.  Palm Bay continues to have one of the lowest crime rates in the area.   Our officers are highly trained, professional individuals who follow a strict set of professional standards that have repeatedly earned this agency a seal of approval from the Commission on Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation.  Our number one priority is continuing to provide this professional service that ultimately results in the safety and security of all of us."