The News 4 Tucson Investigators have learned the Marana Police Department recently lost not one, but several of their sworn officers. The reason they left the department may surprise you.
“When we lose people because they make poor choices and bad decisions, that's always difficult, to have to terminate people is a difficult process,” Marana Police Chief, Terry Rozema, told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.
Chief Rozema is talking about three sworn Marana Police officers who as of this month are now out of a job.
“When you lose three people in a department of roughly 90 sworn personnel, that can have a real impact, especially if they're coming from the same area, which these three people are. They're all coming from patrol,” Chief Rozema told the News 4 Tucson Investigators
One of those officers is Dionysius Cazares, 31. According to an indictment reviewed by the News 4 Tucson Investigators, she is facing two counts of computer tampering, which a felony. According to the indictment, the charges are related to her accessing a computer or network belonging to the Arizona Criminal Justice Information System.
“She was in fact terminated. Outside of that, I can't really give you the details, even the reasons for the termination at this point,” Chief Rozema told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.
Cazares isn't alone in leaving Marana Police. Through a Public Records Request, the News 4 Tucson Investigators also discovered that two other officers, one male and one female, resigned from Marana Police earlier this month. They did so before they could be fired from their $50,000 per-year jobs.
“The community needs to know that they can trust their police to do the right thing, to be honest and to be of high integrity, to be there to protect them, and some of those very basic tenants were violated,” Chief Rozema told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.
Right now Chief Rozema can only confirm that the two officer resignations were “indirectly connected” to Casares' firing. He also tells the News 4 Tucson Investigators that there is an open investigation into at least one other person on the department. It’s all part of the ongoing effort to ‘police the police.’
“I think even more so now in the current climate in terms of people's perceptions of law enforcement, you really want to make sure you're going the extra mile to make sure the integrity of the organization is preserved,” Chief Rozema told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.
Former Officer Cazares can still appeal her termination. She has pleaded not-guilty to the computer tampering charges.
The News 4 Tucson Investigators have requested the Internal Affairs files of all three officers, and we will bring you an update with new details as soon as we get them.
If you have something you would like the News 4 Tucson Investigators to investigate, email us firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the News 4 Tucson Investigators tip-line at (520)955-4444.
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