Dublin, CA – Almost 50 Alameda County sheriff’s deputies were demoted and placed on desk duty after a review of their psychological evaluations determined they shouldn’t be law enforcement officers.
The internal audit of the sheriff’s department was launched after off-duty Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy Devin Williams Jr. fatally shot a married couple inside their home on Sept. 7, KRON reported.
Police said Deputy Williams had been involved in a romantic relationship with 42-year-old Maria Tran and used his service weapon to kill her and her husband, 57-year-old Benison Tran.
An investigation after Deputy Williams was apprehended determined that he had failed the psychological evaluation when he joined the sheriff’s department in September of 2021.
So, the sheriff’s department launched an internal audit to figure out if there were any other sheriff’s deputies patrolling the county who should not have been psychologically cleared for duty, FOX News reported.
Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern sent out a letter on Sept. 23 that said the department had finished the internal audit and found that 47 active-duty deputies had received “D. Not Suited” ratings on their psychological evaluations dating back to January of 2016.
Those 47 sheriff’s deputies will be stripped of their law enforcement powers and have to turn in their badges and guns, FOX News reported.
They will be reassigned to desk jobs within the sheriff’s department and retain full pay and benefits while new psychological tests are conducted and the deputies are reevaluated, according to the sheriff.
Sheriff Ahern told the affected deputies in his letter that it was his intention is to “resolve this issue as quickly as possible” and “return to full duty status once you obtain a ‘suitable’ finding,” FOX News reported.
Alameda County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Ray Kelly told reporters that deputies would be retested in the next “couple months.”
Lt. Kelly said he had no idea how many of the affected deputies would end up having their law enforcement powers restored after the evaluations, FOX News reported.
The lieutenant said the retesting would be done by a psychologist credited with the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training who doesn’t work for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.
The murders allegedly committed by the off-duty deputy have brought the top of mental health to the forefront for the department.
“This was not a random crime,” Lt. Kelly told reporters at the time, according to KCRA. “This is a very bizarre chain of events that unfolded.”
Dublin police responded to a home in the 100-block of Colebrook Lane at about 12:45 a.m. on Sept. 7 after someone in the house called 911 and reported an intruder had come into the house and shot two people.
Responding officers found Maria Tran and her husband dead inside the home, KCRA reported.
Four other relatives, including the couples’ children, were inside the home when the suspect identified by witnesses as Deputy Williams came in brandishing a weapon.
Police said Deputy Williams used his service weapon to kill the Trans, KCRA reported.
None of the other family members who were inside the home at the time of the incident were injured.
Police put out a picture of Deputy Williams and warned the public he was to be considered armed and dangerous.
The deputy, who had fled 160 miles south of the East Bay crime scene, contacted authorities about 12 hours later and said he wanted to turn himself in, according to KCRA.
The Dublin police chief spent about an hour talking Deputy Williams through a “mental health crisis” on the phone and then arranged his surrender to the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
The deputy was taken into custody without incident, KCRA reported.
Lt. Kelly said Deputy Williams had undergone some “significant events” that may have precipitated the killings, KCRA reported.
“A lot of those events went undiscovered and undisclosed and we’re going to be looking into that. There’s a lot of questions that need to be answered,” he said.