National News

Glendale PD: Officer resigns after sending inappropriate text to minor

Posted September 25

— A 9-year-veteran with the Glendale Police Department resigned in March after sending an inappropriate text message to an underage female earlier in the year, documents revealed.

Paul Robertson, 41, sent an inappropriate and sexually explicit photograph to a 16-year-old female via text message on January 6, according to a case overview report with the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board.

After the girl's father filed a formal complaint, Glendale police began a criminal investigation.

Investigators learned that on a previous occasion, Robertson sent an inappropriate and explicit message to another underage female at an unknown time.

When detectives confronted Robertson, he admitted that he drunkenly took and sent the explicit image as a text but did so accidentally. Robertson claimed he meant to send it to an adult female but their names were very similar and that is why he inadvertently sent the photo to the minor.

Robertson then told detectives he had no recollection of sending an inappropriate message to the other underage female.

In the document, the other girl's mother believed that Robertson accidentally sent the message due to his excessive use of alcohol.

Detectives collected and examined both girls' cellphones along with Robertson's. The explicit image was present on both girls' cellphones but not on Robertson's. In the opinion of the detectives, the message was removed from Robertson's phone.

Detectives submitted the case to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office for review but prosecution was denied.

On March 17, the Glendale Police Department submitted a termination report with an effective date of March 15 regarding Robertson. However, Robertson resigned from the department on March 14.

The Glendale Police Department emailed a statement regarding Robertson to AZFamily:

"Officer Robertson served with the Glendale Police Department for over nine years. Unfortunately, he experienced both personal and family issues. His conduct then crossed the line. An investigation was conducted into Officer Robertson's off duty conduct to determine the facts and appropriate discipline. The Glendale Police Department has high standards for performance, conduct, and integrity. Officer Robertson acknowledged that he did not meet those standards and resigned prior to termination.

Police officers are a cross section of society and as human beings may make mistakes. In this profession, however, we are held to a higher standard, by ourselves and the public we serve. When an officer crosses the line, we investigate and when appropriate, impose discipline to maintain our high standards."

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