A California Highway Patrol Officer has been arrested on suspicion of transmitting child pornography.
Patrick Francis Cooney Jr., 54, was taken into custody by Placer County sheriff’s detectives at about 4 p.m. Monday. His arrest came after an investigation that remains ongoing.
The investigation revealed that Cooney transmitted child pornography depicting sex acts involving youths under the age of 18, according to a Sheriff’s Office Facebook post. Detectives searched his home and seized his electronic devices.
Cooney is a 26-year-veteran of the CHP, serving first in Ventura, then North Sacramento and finally the Auburn office. He is on paid administrative leave and his peace officer powers have been revoked, CHP Officer Rafael Cervantes said.
Valley Division Chief Janice Mulanix said in a statement the “CHP is aware of the arrest of one of its officers by the Placer County (Sheriff’s Office) for alleged behavior that occurred while the employee was off duty.”
Mulanix assured the public that the CHP takes any allegation of misconduct by its employees, whether on or off duty, very seriously – and said the CHP is cooperating fully with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.
In addition, the CHP is conducting its own investigation, Mulanix said.
“I want to emphasize to the public that the alleged conduct of this employee does not reflect the values, hard work, dedication and professionalism of the CHP and its more than 11,000 employees,” she said.