Fired Murrieta Cop Criticizes Department in Lengthy Email

The 2,100-word email sent April 10 by ex-Murrieta police Officer Chad Bennett was signed by fictional character Jason Bourne and sent to Murrieta City Council, several members of the police force, and local media outlets.

A mass email received by city officials April 10 from an ex-Murrieta police officer who believes he was wrongly terminated prompted the Murrieta Police Department to issue a statement Monday.

In the email, former Officer Chad Bennett criticized—at times using profanity—senior managers of the Murrieta Police Department. The email was sent to several members of the force, such as the chief, captains, lieutenants, sergeants and fellow officers. All Murrieta City Council members were also included on the distribution list.

A Police Department spokesman declined to elaborate on why Bennett was terminated.

Court records show Bennett, 39, was arrested in May 2012, in an incident that involved domestic violence. He claimed in the email he was treated unfairly by being terminated. Alleged arrests or wrongdoings of other officers or their family members were handled much differently, he wrote.

“You only chose a select few to take care of. If those in need are outside the inner protected circle you turn your back...People who would die for you in the line of duty,” wrote Bennett, in the approximately 2,100-word email which he signed Jason Bourne. (Bourne is the main character in a novel adapted into movies about a foreign agent who develops amnesia.)

“If you lose an employee for any reason that could have been prevented by intervention or rehabilitation that is a leadership issue and you as a leader failed. It takes more than handing someone a phone number and tell them to call a counselor,” Bennett wrote.

“This is not a manifesto. This is a man telling the truth and saying things I was not afforded the opportunity to do,” he wrote, near the top of the email that was also sent to members of the local media.

Bennett goes on to mention his recent arrest, which according to jail records occurred on March 15—after his Feb. 5 termination—in Moreno Valley and involved another alleged domestic violence incident.

“Supposedly I was on the run and I am a trained killer on the loose according to our management who fear for their lives,” Bennett wrote. “...I cooperated 100 percent the entire time.”

Bennett posted $50,000 bail in order to be released from jail, records show. He has not been formally charged in either incident, according to court records.

He wrote that he and his wife were back together.

“Yes, I have faults, I suffer from depression and have suicidal thoughts from time to time. I am human. I won’t deny my problems and I know I have caused some pain in my own life and those close to me. I have asked for forgiveness and I will move forward. I am proud, I am strong with or without your support,” Bennett wrote.

When contacted via email by Patch, Bennett was reluctant to be interviewed. He responded by writing, in part: "...I’m trying to help people not sound crazy." He also wrote that "there was never physical violence towards my wife or a firearm used in any way shape or form."

Regarding the ex-officer’s claims, Murrieta police lieutenants Rob Firmes and Tony Conrad, who both serve as spokesmen, emailed the following statement Monday on behalf of Chief Mike Baray:

“The following narrative sums up Chief Mike Baray’s comments:

“The Murrieta Police Department did in fact receive an email from former Police Officer Chad Bennett dated 4/10/13.  The email is aggressive in its criticism toward department management. Although the email did not contain any threats, it was disturbing nonetheless.  The criticism was mainly directed at management employees that were at some time involved in the disciplinary process resulting in Mr. Bennett’s termination on February 5th, 2013.  Bennett was hired by the Murrieta Police Department in September of 2005. As far as station security is concerned, the police department’s standard security measures are sufficient.  Mr. Bennett, as a terminated employee, no longer has free access to the building or police department property.  The email correspondence sent by Mr. Bennett will not be released by the department simply because it is derogatory in nature and is related to a personnel investigation.

 “In summary, Chief Baray believes all the employees and volunteers of the Murrieta Police Department are exemplary in work performance and character.  It is unfortunate that Mr. Bennett chose this forum in which to communicate his opinions.

“The Murrieta Police Department will have no further comments on this matter.”

N1smo2go April 16, 2013 at 07:12 PM
@Shane, you are mixing this cop that has apparent issues, with law abiding citizens that wish to protect their families and themselves. As a CCW holder before I came to this state, and with friends that I know that open carry, we are not people that use our problems and take them out on society. Quit mixing the too, it's offensive. I served over 8 years in the Marines, and have seen some pretty gruesome stuff, and one thing that is a common denominator in all that is bad and horrible that happens is the human element. Human beings(people) are to blame, this cop obviously had or has issues, but he is a far cry from me and other people like me that use guns as they are intended and have been trained thoroughly to assess threats and react accordingly. Your "anyone", comment is wrong and be fortunate that you have not had any thing bad or experienced anything awful happen in your life, crime, robbery, murder, suicide, war, etc. I can't stand people that Monday morning quarterback and lump "everyone" and "anyone", in an issue where one person is the blame, not the rest of civilized society. I just wonder if and when the crap hits the fan, will you be on of those people running away from the scene to protect their own neck or running to the scene to assist. From your comments have seen in the past, I already have an idea.
Woodman April 16, 2013 at 07:39 PM
N1smo...couldn't have said it better myself...Thanks!
Eddie April 16, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Has this knucklehead ever heard of personal responsibility? Guess not. Thank god this guy is no longer a police officer. NO LONGER A POLICE OFFICER! If he wants people to hear and see his side of the story, he needs to give us ALL of the info. Until that happens I'll just ask him, "Would you like some cheese with that whine?!" Move on dude!
SA April 16, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Here you go again with your crazy thinking about guns. Every day I work with domestic violence cases and never once has a gun been used. Every other year I have to take continuing education courses and I am updated with new statistics and I never heard of guns being used in D.V. situations. Domestic violence, is always caused by a mentally unstable person (as this ex-cop has) or drunk / high person.
Steve Newman April 16, 2013 at 08:59 PM
Shane would be the one running away to escape his responsibilities-like he does now. He likes to take almost any issue and turn it into an anti gun preaching. But that's Shane- mr. lump em together- His "be afraid, be very afraid" comment is actually the moto he lives by. If you can call that living.
Ed April 16, 2013 at 10:03 PM
I live in Murrieta and I think the PD and FD are the finest in the nation they have my full support in all dept. Matters!
john ryerson April 16, 2013 at 11:23 PM
they are not the finest in the nation. most of them lie to protect their own butts. they even go to great lengths to lie in front of a judge.
Cyclist April 16, 2013 at 11:36 PM
So you blindly accept whatever they do or say?
Hal Olcott April 16, 2013 at 11:37 PM
Thank you, Ed. Even after four years at another city's PD volunteer program then eleven years as a volunteer at the Murrieta PD, I couldn't have said it better. They are the best in the business.
Kingpin April 17, 2013 at 12:56 AM
I have no doubt this ex cop speaks the truth.
Steve Newman April 17, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Sounds like personal experience-but when some gang banger is looking to kick your butt, you will be glad they are there to help you-and perhaps your family. Everybody speaks negatively on cops till they are needed-different story then.
Vic April 17, 2013 at 01:06 AM
Another Christopher Dorner in the making?
Marcus von Weigert, J.D. April 17, 2013 at 02:14 AM
Having lived in Murrieta and having had personal contact with Bennett a couple years ago, it was already obvious this guy was a lying, pathological, nutjob on a power trip. 2 incidents involving domestic violence - it would be interesting to know exactly what these involved...physical violence, threats, a gun maybe? - and this rambling, delusional, "Unibomber"-style manifesto should be enough to show anyone with an above room temperature i.q. that this guy is seriously mentally ill. And quite possibly dangerous. Kind of like another psycho who recently went on a murder spree after they took his badge and gun away. Now Bennett, admittedly depressed and suicidal, is back with the wife he has already been arrested twice for committing violent crimes against. I have the feeling we, and the Riverside County Criminal Justice System, haven't seen or heard the last of Chad Bennett.
Mr. Logical April 17, 2013 at 04:20 AM
I miss Barney Fife, Andy and Mayberry RFD. The biggest event in town was concerning which type of pie Aunt Bee was cooking..."Andy!!!"
Chad Bennett April 17, 2013 at 02:59 PM
You all have great comments and views. Thank you.
Chad Bennett April 17, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Thank you all for your comments. I strive every day to be better a man. Marcus von Weigert, J.D., I'm sorry if anything I did that might have upset you. So you all know, there was never violence or guns involved. Every word in my letter to the PD was true. We all suffer at times in our life. If any of you do, please reach out. I was too embarrassed to reach out and if I had things might be different. But I have to deal with the cards I have been dealt. I will be a better man in the long run for this. Sincerely, Chad Bennett
SA April 17, 2013 at 04:13 PM
You and your cronies are what is wrong with this country. You give crybabies such as former Officer Bennett credit, you enjoy stealing money and rights of citizens and you redirect blame to acquire attention. Your assertions regarding guns and domestic violence are way out of line and false. Former Officer Bennett admitted that he suffers from depression, (which in my vast experience of working with domestic violence victims and perpetrators) contributed to his alleged acts of domestic violence. As such, you may want to change your propaganda “Comrade”.
Sherry April 17, 2013 at 04:21 PM
Domestic violence indicates a serious problem. The man was with the department for 8 years. The choice should have been mandatory treatment for a psychological behavioral problem meeting satifactory results determined by the Police dept or Termination. When a mature adult police officer signs something Jason Bourne......you have to seriously wonder what's going on there. Hopefully, he will see past this and get the help he needs, but I think the Police department has more responsiblity here to provide treatment.
Chad Bennett April 17, 2013 at 05:49 PM
Thank you Kingpin. I am speaking the truth and the truth will prevail. The only problem is no one will hear about that when it happens.
Steve Newman April 17, 2013 at 05:57 PM
#Shane- Steve Newman was the guy yiu playrd football with in highschool- when a tackle was made he would be the last one to pile on." I know in your world that makes some sense-but in reality, it is just another Shamble-that is a Shane ramble for all of those who don't know you. And I did play football in high school-were you in the band?
Chad Bennett April 17, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Eddie, I appreciate your comments. I didn't write the patch's article Maggie did. I did lay out all the facts in my original email. So you know, I am moving on. Keep in mind this is what you know. You should be concerned about the abuses of power at Murrieta PD I laid out in my email that you do not know about. I would still gladly lay down my life to protect and serve those in need. That is all I have done my entire life and will continue at a moments notice.
Chad Bennett April 17, 2013 at 06:18 PM
I know who kents wife is...you should know of all people I am speaking the truth. I love Kent like a brother and still would lay down my life for his. You and he both know that.
Steve Newman April 17, 2013 at 06:42 PM
What happened to client confidentiality?
Vic April 17, 2013 at 06:55 PM
"Shamble". LOVE it, Steve! "Shane" has inspired more new words and expressions of disdain than any other person I know of!
Nell April 18, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Working at City Hall, I have had contact with Chad. My thoughts are with him and the struggles he admits to. To the people to blindly (and FAR too easily pass judgement), my thoughts are with you as well. You all need to find peace within yourselves.
dick weed April 18, 2013 at 11:49 AM
MPD has always done what ever they want when they want, with no repercussions, and yes there are a few good ones but the bad far out way the good ones, and they do what there told to do by the city counsel !!!!
dick weed April 18, 2013 at 04:54 PM
sorry did not know it was still pending but :? u know
citizen May 09, 2013 at 04:15 AM
If that is the letter he wrote or atleast a portion of it, I can see why he was let go. I dont want an unstable person w a gun that is allowed to have one. Like you said buddy. Move on. Walmart is hiring im sure it will be better for you. You can laugh at people as they walk in.
Jeanette Ferguson May 09, 2013 at 01:37 PM
Don't let this guy fool you! He is not the eloquent mild mannered person he is trying to portrait. He is a pathetic piece of human flesh who has our entire block on edge and scared of what crazy ass thing he will do next. The department did nothing but reprimand him for HIS wrong doings. GROW UP CHAD ! Be responsible for your own actions and quit trying to blame other people like you have been doing your entire life. Why don't you pick up your crap and leave our nice neighborhood. I would like to allow my son to play outside again without fear of what unstable thing you may do next. You are on a downward spiral with yet another arrest. Get your life straight and leave all us innocent people out of it.
50wyf May 13, 2013 at 09:21 AM
Jeanette, Our community is in an uproar, so sorry that it has carried over into the neighborhood though! I hope you and your family can get back to normal soon.


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