Veteran CHP officer arrested in child pornography case

A veteran California Highway Patrol officer is on administrative leave after being arrested this week on suspicion of transmitting child pornography. 

Placer County sheriff’s detectives arrested Patrick Francis Cooney Jr., around 4 p.m. Monday. An ongoing investigation revealed that Cooney, 54, allegedly sent child pornography that depicts sexual acts involving persons under 18, officials said. 

Authorities searched his Auburn residence and seized his electronic devices.

“CHP is aware of the arrest of one of its officers by the Placer County Sheriff Department for alleged behavior that occurred while the employee was off duty,” Chief Janice Mulanix of the CHP Valley Division in Sacramento said in a statement. “I want to assure the public that we take any allegation of misconduct by our employees, whether on or off duty, very seriously. 

Cooney’s peace officer powers have been revoked, Mulanix said. 

The CHP is conducting its own investigation into the allegations, the agency said, as well as cooperating with the investigating agencies.

“The CHP is a proud and professional organization,” 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.”

Cooney has been with the agency for about 26 years. He began his career in the Ventura office, transferred to the North Sacramento office and then transferred once more to the Auburn office where he’s been stationed since.

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