HOUSTON -- Houston Police Sergeant Ryan Chandler is off the job and can't carry a badge or gun while internal affairs investigators review dozens of his homicide cases for alleged sloppy police work.
But on paper, you would never know anything was wrong.
According to his employee evaluations, Sgt. Chandler was rated “outstanding” year after year.
But the I-Team found something interesting when it examined them closely—every one of Chandler’s four reviews done in 2011 and 2012, were virtually identical, with the same exact wording used in the same order. In short, each semi-annual review seemed to have been copied and pasted from the previous review.
We showed all of them to a Houston expert in law enforcement administration.
“Laziness,” said Larry Karson, an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Houston Downtown.
For example, all of them wrote Chandler "demonstrates a high degree of integrity" and then that he is "reliable and dependable." And when they wrote "he is persistent in his investigattions, (sic)” they even copied the misspelling--two t's instead of one.
"The idea that you're only cutting and pasting brings into question, 'Are you really evaluating? Or are you just going out and having a beer after a quick cut and paste,’" said Karson.
"The next question is, 'Are you really supervising your people or are they going off the reservation?’" added Karson.
In addition, the I-Team noticed that it wasn’t a single supervisor who had done these reviews, but three different lieutenants whom over the years somehow wrote exactly the same thing about Chandler.
We asked the Houston Police Officers’ Union if that was acceptable. President Ray Hunt would not comment about Chandler’s specific case, but did talk about supervision in general.
"I believe at HPD, officers are on top of their subordinates. But are they going back and checking every single thing they do? And the answer is no,” Hunt said.
Hunt said there's just not enough manpower to do those kind of reviews.
But others question if blaming a lack of personnel is just an excuse for something more disturbing.
"Is there a culture within that division of not paying attention to that evaluation process and therefore not also paying attention to what their officers are doing?” said Karson.
An HPD Spokesperson would not comment and the union said neither is Ryan Chandler while the internal affairs investigation is ongoing.