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Video appears to show SLO County probation officer texting while - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Video appears to show SLO County probation officer texting while driving

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A video circulating on social media appears to show a San Luis Obispo County probation officer using his phone while driving.

The incident is now reportedly under investigation.

A local man says he was driving through the intersection of Broad Street and Orcutt in San Luis Obispo when he saw the officer texting behind the wheel.

The video appears to show the officer with both hands off the wheel looking down at a cell phone, then starting to drive off with one hand still on the device.

County officials with the probation department declined our reporter's request for an interview. Instead, the office sent the following statement:
"We are treating the video as citizen's complaint and doing an investigation. Our county vehicle policy states that all county employees must obey all traffic laws when operating a county vehicle," said Jim Salio, Chief Probation Officer for San Luis Obispo County. 

According to California state law, the ban on cell phone use while driving does not apply to emergency services personnel, as long as it's duty-related.

Some people say, if the officer didn't have a valid work-related reason to use his phone, there should be some sort of disciplinary action taken.

"I don't feel like anybody is above the law, and if that is the law, then everyone should have to follow it," said Ryan Noble, San Luis Obispo resident. 

Others say maybe some shouldn't be so quick to judge.

"He's just a citizen like everyone else. You want him to be a role model, but they're human beings and they have distractions like we all do. But it sets a bad example," said Pierre Rademaker, San Luis Obispo resident. 

The county probation office did not say what type of disciplinary action could be taken against the probation officer if the investigation finds he did not act appropriately.

Even though law enforcement is exempt from the cell phone ban, most departments develop their own policy on the correct way to use electronics.

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