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San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) Sgt. Chad Pfarr is under review for comments he made about sexual assault in an article published by New Times Oct. 12, according to a social media post written by SLOPD Chief Deanna Cantrell.  

Sgt. Pfarr, SLOPD’s head of investigations, said students often “feel like they got sexually assaulted because they blacked out” when really “it was just something that was conjured up,” according to the New Times story.

“We get a ton of young people that come into town that have never really consumed alcohol before and now they’re experimenting with different alcohols,” Pfarr said. “Suddenly they have too much and they black out and the automatic assumption is, ‘I was roofied and sexually assaulted.’ More times than not, that’s not the case.”  

Cantrell addressed the insensitive remarks in a post published on Nextdoor, a social networking site for neighborhoods. She announced that SLOPD will thoroughly review the recorded phone conversation between Sgt. Pfarr and New Times to understand precisely what was said.

“If statements made were inconsistent with policy, appropriate training and/or corrective action will be taken, consistent with the California Peace Officer Bill of Rights (POBAR),” Cantrell wrote.

This training includes, but is not limited to, best practices in interview processes with victims, witnesses and suspects as well as education on the psychological and emotional effects of trauma.

Cantrell urged sexual assault victims to report the crime as soon as possible, stressing that SLOPD takes “every report and investigation seriously.”

“We apologize for statements that were not empathetic and/or sensitive to victims,” Cantrell wrote. “We will use this interaction as an opportunity to reinforce and enhance awareness and sensitivity to this important issue among all of our officers and to ensure that we are providing the most supportive response and service possible to victims of sexual assault.”

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