More from CHP Lt. on Round Valley incident

chp_logo.jpgCitizens are still questioning a reported incident in the Round Valley area in which a Highway Patrol Officer questioned residents as they looked at a petroglyph site in that area and photographed their identification. The CHP Lieutenant in Mono County has offered further response.

The report came in that the wife of a CHP officer was watching the petroglyph area through a spotting scope at her Paradise home and then contacting her CHP husband to check out people there.

Asked again if he had contacted the officer and investigated this report, Lieutenant Ron Cohen in Bridgeport said, “I have zero authority over the spouse or significant other of an officer.” In an earlier conversation, Lieutenant Cohen said he had not yet talked to the officer involved in this encounter.

Asked again about that, the Lieutenant said that considering his days off and training time out of the area, he had not talked to the officer. Asked why he had not phoned him, Lieutenant Cohen said he would rather speak with the officer in person. Cohen said he could not comment further on personnel issues.

Citizens had asked if the officer had probable cause to approach them and photograph their licenses. The Lieutenant said that the petroglyphs are the subject of a sensitive case and that someone’s presence at a site could generate law enforcement contact. He said, “You don’t necessarily have to break a law to be contacted.”

Lieutenant Cohen also said that it depends on the code under which his officers are operating – vehicle, penal, fish and game – as to how they may ask for identification.


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19 Responses to More from CHP Lt. on Round Valley incident

  1. esfotoguy March 1, 2013 at 8:00 am #

    Its not one incident, its happened many times to many people. As long as it continues accusations and complaints on this site will continue. The people I know who have had this happen are afraid of reporting it because they are in fear, be it getting pulled over and hassled, visits to their houses,retaliation ect ….which has already happened to some of them.With all the nut bag drivers coming down the hill from MMSA,and the state’s budget crisis, does it really make sense to drive 2 miles off hwy 395[on a rough dirt road] and hassle photographers, birdwatchers,history buffs, or campers? Is it the best use for taxpayers money?

    • Big AL March 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

      Yes I understand it might have happened, as far as I know .. I know of this one incident, involving these two people.

      And I agree with what you’re saying esfotoguy, I get it totally, I don’t mean to say this was an isolated incident, I imagine there have been and will be more until this problem is solved by the department.

      And it is a damn shame that people feel they can’t report incidences like this without feeling paranoid of retribution. While I don’t think that would happen now .. since this is too much in the open, it could happen though.

      Unless more people come forward, then there is no history to be shown here. The more cases of complaint will silence the squeaky wheel. I don’t blame people though.

      • Jeremiah's stance March 1, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

        It’s like having a target on your head anytime people blow a whistle on the establishment. Look at Bradley Manning’s case, All he did was try to inform the general public what was going on in the Afghanistan and Iraq War’s, so the American people can have a well informed decision of the cost of war.
        And the government sought him as aiding the enemy (and since a lot of you saw it portrayed that way on the media’s you believe it), with human right’s out the window. They held Bradley Manning way over the time period authorities are supposed to hold one without charging them with a crime. Unfortunately since the defense authorization act has bee passed it allows the government to hold alleged terrorists/criminals indefinitely!
        So if your the one given out information that hurts the establishment it’s so easy to be made out as a enemy of the state. It’s happening right now under our watches but we are to content to be outraged I guess??
        So content with our lives we allow mainstream news media to tells how we should feel.
        Look up the Bradley Manning case, all he did was tell the truth, but now and days that isn’t what gets awarded, it’s the snitches, the cowards, the bankers with no conscious, the politicians with no principles that seem to get ahead in the USA of 2013.
        It’s not a Republican or Democrat problem, It’s a American Problem! Help get the corruptive influence of money out of the Political, Justice, and legislative system at

  2. Big AL February 28, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    The CHP is still a professional department in spite of some comments alledging that they are not.

    What people seem to forget when throwing out allegations as such, is that there are good people in this department that try to be right in their duties, and there are those who do things that dishonor the department.

    The LT in this case is not going to give a lot of information out on this to begin with, that is just a given. It doesn’t mean that he is covering something up .. maybe he is, maybe he isn’t.

    As for the comment about his control over spouses, he is right, he can not tell that person how to act. But … he can rip a new one with the officer, and encourage him to control his wife .. or significant other, because the LT doesn’t want to hear any more crap about this! I’d say he’s getting pretty irritated about this whole thing by now, having to clean up after the officer and his wife.

    Or as some pretty much think, he might be just filing it all away, waiting for the last of the crap out of the fan. My thought is he is pretty unhappy right now and … probably pretty bowed up about it all.

    I don’t think it is right that it was handled in such a way, and because it was .. here we are … slinging mud at all of them, because of this one individual .. or two individuals. I just have to say it sucks how the whole bunch get treated like crap for the ones who do stuff like this.

    I mean .. I would be pretty pissed to see people talking s**t about my outfit or department and implying I am POS because how some assbite acted or acts. I know I have been there done that, had people treat me like a POS, just because of I do, when they are pissed off by someone else or just generally disgruntled and void of any facts. And I have been guilty of falling into that blame game, I know it is easy to do .. jump on that hump and squaller.

    I just think those who do right, deserve more than this. And put the blame where it belongs such as the incident that started all of this.

  3. Concerned February 28, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    Seems like you may be leaving part of the story out. The Lt.’s reply about not having authority over an officer’s spouse sounds like a response to a different question. It doesn’t sound like an answer to “if he had contacted the officer and investigated this report.”

    Sounds more like you asked him what he’s going to do about the officer’s spouse.

    • Benett Kessler February 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

      I asked him what he had done regarding the citizen’s complaint about the CHP Officer and his wife who was looking at people through a spotting scope.
      His response is in the story.
      Benett Kessler

      • Concerned February 28, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

        Thanks for the clarification.

  4. Tourbillon February 28, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    The LT’s approach is sound. Instead of having to pay dispatchers, the CHP wives just man the binoculars and vector their hubbies to various and sundry scenes of misbehavior. After all, the LT has “zero authority” over wives superseding his own dispatchers, so his next move logically will be to go with the flow and save a few bucks by releasing his superfluous dispatchers. Promote that man to Captain.

    • Mark February 28, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

      I’d like to dispatch him too, may I have his mobile number?

      • Concerned February 28, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

        Any concerned citizen should report suspicious activities to the authorities, whether you’re related to them or not.

        • Tourbillon February 28, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

          “Any concerned citizen should report suspicious activities to the authorities, whether you’re related to them or not.” Really? We as Americans should start informing on our fellow citizens for activities we think is merely “suspicious”, whatever that might mean in our varied personal opinions? Is that the kind of society you want to live in? Because I don’t.

          And do you think for one minute that you stand on the same basis, when you dial a cop’s cell phone, as his wife? Obviously you don’t. You call in your “suspicions” to dispatch, they yawn. She calls hubby, he hops to. My suspicions are, you need to get a clue. Consider it “reported”.

  5. Trouble February 27, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    There is more than one CHP officeir in Paradise. One just retired. Is that what is causing confusion here?

  6. Ken February 27, 2013 at 9:54 pm #


  7. sierragrl February 27, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    perhaps the CHP should utilize a Public Information Officer…at this point, this is getting beyond embarrassing.

  8. Mark February 27, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    “More from CHP Lt. on Round Valley incident”

    He really said nothing more. Now I’m curious how old this Lt. is? He’s coming across as a bit imature and unprofessional.

    His officer is being accused of being dispatched by his wife and the Lt. says he has no control over that. Really?

  9. Really??? February 26, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    Wow, it looks like Lt. Cohen is calling all his boys to give thumbs down!

  10. Peter February 26, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    This might just be the tip of the iceberg for this wife / cop team. What else does she call him to investigate personally for her while he is on the people’s dime?

  11. Desert Tortoise February 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    CHP used to be a professional organization but in the last fifteen years it has become a lot more like LAPD with this air of impunity.

  12. Really??? February 26, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    Spoken like a rat caught in a trap! Great job Benett! Ask the Lt. to send you the partol schedule that shows when the officer was on days off, in training and working.

    Any real supervisor would just call the officer up and order him to write a complete report/memorandum detailing everything that took place during the contact. Many CHP Officers record their contacts, if so Email up the recording to the Lt. Simple.


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