Although this report indicates that "blood and urine tested negative for narcotics," no mention is made of performing toxicology tests which screen for the existence of one or more pharmaceutical drugs and the 'metabolites' of those drugs.
In a recent report by the Institute of Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) written by Thomas Moore, a long-time public safety advocate committed to keeping dangerous prescription drugs off the market, 31 out of 484 approved drugs currently on the market were found disproportionally associated with the side effect "violence towards others." These prescription drugs included ",,,[Chantix] (a smoking cessation aid), 11 antidepressant drugs, 3 drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and 5 hypnotic/sedatives." As drug safety advocate Mr. Moore points out, "Violence towards others is a seldom-studied adverse drug event and an atypical one because the risk of injury extends to others."
Given reported "previous mental health issues," it may be that Mrs. Pedreros' use of one or more prescription drugs may have resulted in the alleged infanticide. When and only when toxicology reports (if ordered during the initial investigation) are available, Sophia's mother's behavior must be reported to the FDA's MEDWATCH safety alert system so that, should similar reports begin to emerge, others might be warned of such a tragic side-effect before further unsuspecting children are placed in the very real danger of being harmed or killed by their own mother, as alleged.
Reference: Moore TJ, Glenmullen J, Furberg CD, 2010 Prescription Drugs Associated with Reports of Violence Towards Others. PLoS ONE 5(12): e15337. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015337
ISMP Dec. 2010 report can be found by clicking here: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0015337#s3
Dear North Coast Journal Editor (whoever you are these days),
Allegations and evidence which led to two separate criminal investigations, multiple charges filed and then a police officer's dismissal don't occur in a cultural vacuum. Although The Eureka Police Department initiated its own investigation beginning in March and then combined forces with the District Attorney's office who, until March 16th, had been conducting a parallel investigation on its own. Who is left to investigate a potentially compromised internal EPD culture which incubated this alleged criminal misconduct of Officer Kalis?
The two criminal investigations that led to Officer Kalis' firing indicate that emotional and perhaps physical damage was experienced by at least one individual and that security breaches of state and local law enforcement and other public databases also occurred (i.e. unauthorized access and use of private D.M.V. information). Given that additional charges may still be filed, a full investigation into the role played by the EPD culture which led to Officer Kalis' individual actions as alleged can not yet be known, especially if no one is looking or everyone is looking the other way.
Over and above the alleged criminal behavior of this individual officer, there remain ethical violations at several levels should one or more of these charges be proven. Given that Officer Kalis operated within a larger police department leadership structure, the EPD culture itself must also be audited and a formal report of detailed findings presented to the public. As with any breakdown in an organization which is funded by and which serves the public, as we sit back to assess the damages, steps must be taken to fully understand the complexities of entrenched cultural values within the Eureka Police Department at all levels. In the wake of these shocking events, the community deserves to be assured that the same culture that resulted in charges filed against one officer aren't inadvertently encouraging other police personnel to behave in the same manner.
To begin, we must pan-out our focus and fully investigate how the department's current 'administrative operations' (processes, procedures, training, etc.) and its 'cultural operations' (leadership style, codes of conduct, performance reviews, promotions) may have directly or indirectly resulted in the alleged egregious behavior of one of its officers. Until a separate investigation is called for and the results are reported publicly, there remain no assurances that Officer Kalis' actions were in any way out of the ordinary given EPD cultural norms which have become entrenched over many years.
I'm asking that a full investigation be conducted into the Eureka Police Departments' culture and leadership. Sooner rather than later.
635 G. St. #B
Arcata, CA 95521
In Print This Week:
Dec 5, 2013
vol XXIV issue 49
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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