Officer who killed family was once disciplined for shooting at dog, report says

Friend says husband was insecure, showed signs of jealousy

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  • dan76 san antonio, TX
    Jan. 25, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    Apparently his marksmanship improved since the attempted dog shooting incident.

  • gmk17of TX Arlington, TX
    Jan. 25, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    I am still trying to understand how he kept his peace officer license after admitting at shooting at a dog and putting a bullet hole in his own patrol car. This is not one of those "in hindsight" moments, it should have been identified immediately as a mental issue not worthy of a police officer.

  • Vince Ballard South Ogden, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:45 p.m.

    Psychological evaluations were pretty much standard twenty five years ago when I was trying to get into law enforcement. I don't know about now, but I am troubled by one common thread here: there seems to be a tendency to doctrinize psychological counseling and it's protocols and to deify psychologists. Sadly enough they are fallible human beings and the lack of quantifiable performance in the counseling and therapeutic community has resulted in some real incompetents taking up the craft. Others don't have the foggiest idea what peace officers do, or care. Lets not put the salvation of mankind at psychologists feet. As far as unstable police officers are concerned the following seems to be the best predictor: "There is no better way to predict the future than by the past". Good background investigations and in some cases, polygraph tests are the best tools currently available.

  • ignoranceisbliss Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 6:20 p.m.

    Police departments could use the money from asset forfitures to pay the costs of psych evaluations at least once a year. Testing officers only when there are allegations of misconduct is an absurd policy.

  • donquixote84721 Cedar City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 5:03 p.m.

    I was a Corrections Officer/ Counselor and had to take a psychological Test before employment, and again when I was falsely accused of misconduct. I do not know what the policy of the two departments for which he worked.

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:59 p.m.

    I sat for the Officer Qualifying Test and it was explained to me that the latter part of the test was not designed so much to test correctness but to profile the candidate's responses against those of known psychological disorders. It goes to show how insufficient our progress is in psychological profiling and diagnosing. It is nowhere near an exact science.
    Is there a solution? Not until the devil in all of us is chained in that bottomless pit.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:29 p.m.

    We are dealing with a big deep rooted problem. We have a general decline in the mental stability of the entire population that is connected to the destruction of the family. It takes a certain level of stability, a very high one, to endure the work as a police officer. At some point you exhaust the shrinking pool of 100% stable people and start hiring the less stable ones. You cannot come up with a test that will predict with enough certainty which one of them will snap at some point - if you applied a sufficiently rigorous standard you would not have anyone to hire. Most of them will not snap, but one, looking no different than anybody else, will snap like this sooner or later for sure. The general disintegration of the family has created this curse for us, and the long-term fix is to reverse the process so we will have a solid pool.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:44 a.m.

    @Patriot & Flashback - You call for things like mandatory mental evaluation and counseling, but I have a feeling that once it started to hit your wallet in the form of a tax increase, there'd be plenty of vocalized dissent... I'm not saying that we shouldn't more to help our officers cope with the stresses of the job, but I don't think it needs to come in the form of mandates.

  • Needa Nap St.George, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:11 a.m.

    If the suspension for, shooting at the dog was on his records. How did he get chosen over 70 other applicants for the police officer job?

  • Lyman Payson, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    Insecurity may not kill, but rage will. Stress and lack of coping
    skills can lead to rage.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    No one outside of the Law Enforcement community has a clue about the stresses and pressures of the job. No one in our society is given the responsibility that cops have. These stresses and pressures cause lots of problems both personally and in families.

    I have seen men that respect in law enforcement cheat on their spouses. They turn to drink or drugs.

    Cops run around in almost red alert all of the time. You get a fortress mentality of us against them. And the them is everyone that isn't a cop.

    My solution? Make psychological counselling manditory for all police officers. Paid for the their department. Their wives and children also. It should occurr at least twice a year. Give the cops and families a chance to get things off of their chests.

    The mental health of cops is very important. We need to do something to stop the epidemic of divorce, alcoholism, drug dependency, and just plain bad behavior by cops.

    Something like this in place might have stopped what happened to Boren's family.

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    How many men are "insecure"?
    How many men come from "dysfunctional families"?
    Attention folks! Lots and lots of the world's population!
    How many of the above mentioned men kill their family?
    This law enforcement individual, obviously, had different issues.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    insecure men don't murder their family. This guy had HUGE MENTAL issues which begs the question why the police didn't see signs over the years. Are there no mental evaluations of officers in the force? This is scary for the public knowing that a lose cannon is patrolling the streets just waiting to explode.

  • midvale guy MIDVALE, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    Electing to destroy an animal on your own is a borderline I don't cross. I cannot hurt people or animals. That is definitely a serious indicator of the deeper issue or disregard for life in one form. Now all the detail will Slowly come out but the bad part is they will have been known all along and as usual nobody does anything to let someone else know what is going on. This is the same way we get all of the mass shootings and other violent activity that we see in the news that kills massive amounts of people. the difference here is this person is someone who is in charge our safety and is allowed to carry a gun so the media and the anti-gun folk are going to have a hard time blaming the guns on this one. It gets back to the same problem with all of these incidents, people who know that other people are having a problem and do not attempt to help them or make the situation known to others that can prevent these things from happening because they are " minding their own business"

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    Jan. 24, 2014 7:51 a.m.

    "Insecurity" is a huge issue for contemporary males because the media has put them down and made them targets of ridicule. That obviously does not justify his actions, but the red flags were there. He was no doubt insecure for other reasons too, further evidence that children need supportive family ties while growing up, which many do not have. I don't know about his childhood, but I do know of many "insecure" men who had haphazard upbringing, and they are much less able to cope with the adversities of life. Men who are insecure especially have a hard time when their wives have successful lives and are not dependent on their husbands socially, emotionally and financially. The story of this guy is so tragic, and even more tragic that it is replayed regularly all over the country.

  • Mugabe ACWORTH, GA
    Jan. 24, 2014 7:00 a.m.

    "Your misconduct has caused serious discredit to your credibility as a peace officer and to the Utah County Sheriff's Office."

    This statement alone leaves me to believe that the department heads had some idea that Josh was a threat. It's just a miracle that he didn't kill some other innocent person while he was on patrol.

    Law enforcement is a fraternity, some, not all of them, will go to great lengths, even lie, to protect each other.

    In my hometown, a few years ago, a Deputy murdered his wife. Prior to that incident, he shot and killed a man, and went about town bragging that, "I hit that brother in the head, and he dropped like a sack of potatoes." Many of the people that were present, believed that the shooting was not justified, but no investigation was done. If his colleagues had been honest, it probably would have save the woman's life.

    This isn't meant to be critical, just that we need not put any people on a pedestal, and look the other way when they show signs of instability, no matter the circumstance.