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An LAPD commander and supervisor are arrested in alcohol-related incident

Los Angeles Police Department Recruit Officers from the 12-15 class graduate at the LAPD Parker Cent
A Los Angeles Police commander and another department supervisor were arrested early Friday in an alcohol-related incident, marking the third and fourth arrests of LAPD officers in the past week.
(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

A high-ranking officer and another supervisor with the Los Angeles Police Department were taken into custody by Glendale police early Friday morning in an alcohol-related incident, marking the third time this week that LAPD officers had been arrested, authorities said.

Glendale police identified the two as Cmdr. Nicole Mehringer, who was booked on suspicion of being intoxicated in public, and James Kelly, who was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence. Kelly is listed as a sergeant in LAPD records.

Glendale police Sgt. Dan Suttles said Mehringer was not cited and won’t be charged.

Mehringer and Kelly were taken into custody about 1:45 a.m. near Lomita Avenue and Brand Boulevard after officers saw that their car had “come to rest” up against another vehicle, Glendale police said. No one was hurt, but officers suspected the two had been drinking, Suttles said.

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Mehringer, 47, and Kelly, 46, spent a little over three hours in custody before they were released Friday morning, according to jail records

Mehringer, who is identified on the LAPD website as Nicole Alberca, is one of 20 commanders in the 10,000-officer LAPD, reporting directly to Chief Charlie Beck. Beck promoted her to commander in March 2017, placing her in charge of the department’s Employee Relations Group.

The group represents the police chief’s office in “all employee relations matters,” handling things like contract negotiations and arbitration of grievances, according to the LAPD’s website.

She and Kelly did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Beck confirmed that an internal investigation had been initiated, telling The Times that he had been briefed on the circumstances surrounding the arrests and was “extremely concerned about the allegations.”

Beck declined to comment on the details of the arrests because it was a personnel matter.

Mehringer and Kelly were the third and fourth LAPD officers taken into custody this week.

On Tuesday, an off-duty officer was arrested at a San Diego County checkpoint after Border Patrol agents found two men in his car who were in the country illegally, authorities said. Mambasse Patara — a 42-year-old officer assigned to the LAPD’s South Traffic Division — later pleaded not guilty to federal charges of transporting people who were in the country illegally.

Also Tuesday, Officer John Bailey was arrested and charged with workers’ compensation fraud, the LAPD said. Bailey, 43, was assigned to the department’s Van Nuys Division.

This week’s arrests came after another LAPD officer, Edgar Verduzco, was charged last week with murder in connection with a suspected DUI crash on the 605 Freeway in Whittier that killed three people in September.

kate.mather@latimes.com

@katemather

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UPDATES:

4:00 p.m.: This article was updated with more details from Glendale police as well as background about murder charges filed last week against another LAPD officer.

3:10 p.m.: This article was updated with a comment from LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.

This article was originally published at 1:45 p.m.


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