San Luis Obispo police officer placed on paid administrative leave

Chief Deanna Cantrell standing behind officer Josh Walsh


Controversial San Luis Obispo police officer Josh Walsh is on paid administrative leave while he is allegedly investigated.

While a source reports Walsh acted inappropriately while on the job, city officials are not divulging the reason for placing Walsh on administrative leave. When asked to confirm the allegation, City Attorney Christine Dietrick initially refused.

“The City cannot comment on details of individual employee leave usage or peace officer personnel matters,” Dietrick wrote in an email. “I can confirm Officer Walsh is currently employed as a Police Officer with the City.”

However, after confronted with requirements to divulge whether or not an employee is on paid administrative leave, Dietrick admitted Walsh was placed on leave on May 6.

Earlier this year, Walsh was on administrative leave regarding a shooting.

In Sept. 2019, Walsh shot and killed a dog while responding to a possible burglary.

Even though Walsh and another officer quickly determined the burglary report was inaccurate, just a resident fixing a broken window, Walsh appeared frightened of the resident’s dog.

Walsh ordered Riley Manford to control her “fucking dog,” Manford said. “I told him he was a friendly dog and asked him to put his gun down so I could get Bubbers.”

Before Manford could reach her dog, Walsh fired three shots at Bubbers. Two shots struck the dog and one bounced off the concrete.

While he was removed from duty during an investigation into the shooting, he was later placed back on the street.

Walsh’s time in law enforcement has been marred with allegations of harassment and abuse of power, according to a report written in 2014 by private investigator Mike Brennler, who was hired by several local attorneys concerned with Walsh’s alleged inappropriate behavior.

During his investigation, Brennler interviewed Walsh’s aunt, Rene Knight, who reported her nephew had a history of harassing and “sadistic” behaviors. Knight said Walsh would torment his disabled grandmother, holding her small dog above his head while he pulled the dog’s fur causing it to yelp in pain, according to the report.

Knight also described Walsh’s numerous attempts to become a police officer, which he repeatedly failed because he could not pass the psychiatric exams. Even so, in 2005 Walsh was hired by the Visalia Police Department. A resident of the area later filed a formal complaint of abuse of power and harassment against Walsh.

Since securing a job in San Luis Obispo, multiple suspects have alleged the officer was heavy-handed during their arrests.

In 2016, Brennler presented his report on Walsh to incoming Chief Deanna Cantrell, who appears to have taken no action.

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2 Comments about “San Luis Obispo police officer placed on paid administrative leave”

  1. Geoff L. says:

    Not surprised, I recall several agencies and departments he attempted to be a Police officer at from several Cities in Several Counties. San Diego, Orange, Kern, Tulare, State as he had failed the standard MMPI exam for mental evaluations, failed several polygraphs.

    SLO is the only Dept. that hired him after many complaints against him in other jurisdictions, his background is a history of a very troubled person, he is a very hateful person of any Muslim faith based [people] including one on his own Department who is also a MD. Dr. “C” as we know him .

    The City of San Luis Obispo seems to know they have a “Bad” cop yet allow him to continue to carry a Badge and Gun this is a dangerous combo and no doubt will lead to a more serious incident to happen.

  2. S/A Awesome Update says:

    One needs to wonder what on earth is the SLOPD and the Chief hiding and or covering up ? Officer Joshua Walsh has a long history of misconduct, abuse and Lying under oath and in his Police Reports.

    He has had at least two complaints by his own Co-worker Police Officers for wrong doings, thus he got back on leave recently. He also claims to be Jewish and thus several local prominent members of the Muslim community have filed formal complaints against him for be a “Muslim Hater” he has been caught several times misusing the police data base to run false record checks on several local Muslims.

    He would use his Police search data to check on several Muslims in the community, from license plates, to registering of vehicles, to back ground checks according to the US DOJ he has abused his use of running NCIC, State of California DOJ computer data to run illegally 10-27’s, 10-28’s, 10-29’s and the false and illegal use of not just the Federal data but state as well.

    CLETS and NCIC are to be used for official Police ONLY, Officer Walsh has been using them for some time, just ask newly appointed Lt. Valenti who has tracked him as well as others in the Dept., and both US DOJ and State DOJ.

    He has used as off the books Paid Snitchs as Karen White, Ronnie Williamson, and many others, as was the case he lost at the COSTCO matter of arresting the Security Guard under false pretenses, the same at LOVR CVS and Kohl’s , Home Depot and more. He is a disgrace to the honor of the the Badge and his wife also a SLOPD Officer Suzi Walsh is as well under a cloud.

    A couple of weeks ago several decent SLOPD officers filed complaints against him yet he was let back on the streets until just recently. NO one wants to work with him as he is a bully, lies in his reports, threatens suspects and is heavy handed, recently he made some serious allegations against the Honorable Judge Dodie Harman, this is now out of control and he needs to be terminated and charged with the many crimes he has committed while on Duty, he once used the City Parking Structure Office in the late hours to make harassing and sexual abusive comments to people.

    Thank You Cal Coast Times for once again revealing the troubled SLOPD, it is past time for a change of leadership and a full house cleaning, as of this month two + officers will retire as they have had it with the lack of Leadership and integrity the SLOPD once had that is now gone.

    The City needs to move fast on this one.

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