Toledo’s new Deputy Safety Director addresses past police work
Angel Tucker faced discipline as Oregon officer but says it taught him to be a better officer and leader.
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Toledo’s new Deputy Safety Director, Angel Tucker, is facing questions about his time in the Oregon Police Department, including discipline he received for excessive force. Tucker says he welcomes any look into his past and believes that past makes him a better leader now.
Tucker says he remembers the incident in November 2017 on Brown Road in Oregon. A 911 hang-up call turned into a domestic violence investigation. As then Oregon Patrolman Tucker spoke to the man in the home, Tucker got into a physical altercation.
According to the Oregon Police investigation, Tucker was “grabbing the man by the throat while arresting him on November 24th.” The report goes on to say “this type of force is not taught by the Oregon Division of Police.”
“That night, first night back from burying my sister, I also had PTSD,” says Tucker. “There were several triggers on scene. I learned something that night about being aware of my triggers, how things can affect you.”
Tucker pleaded no contest in an internal discipline hearing to a charge of violating the department conduct policy which says officers should be “civil, courteous and quiet in their conduct” and “shall maintain an even disposition and remain cool and calm regardless of provocation.”
Tucker tells the I-Team that was a teachable moment and that night showed him how important the mental health of a first responder is.
“I knew I wasn’t ready. I just couldn’t admit it to myself,” he explains. “I would tell myself not to be vulnerable. That’s what a 2022 Angel would tell a 2017 Angel.”
Tucker’s files are not all negative. In fact, in his personnel file he has plenty of compliments, which includes one woman praising his work and caring when her husband died, one person thanking him for his professionalism at a traffic stop, and he was also once nominated for the Detective Keith Dressel Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award.
Tucker says as Safety Director he hopes to take his recent work in the field, both good and bad times, as a way to make sure Toledo safety forces can do their job better and safer each day.
“I assume it that people will judge you on your past and I accept it,” he says. “I’m in a public office. So I’m no more special than the next. There’s no reason why someone shouldn’t question or ask. If I’m not prepared for that then I’m probably not prepared for this.”
Tucker spoke several times about the mental health of safety forces. Something he admits he’s struggled with. That will be one of his big priorities.
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