Robert Katz, Assistant Editor
Jeffrey Sweet, a Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) officer, was arrested in Simi Valley after failing to turn a curve at Blackstone Avenue and colliding with a home on Royal Avenue, on Tuesday night, Sept. 4.
According to a press release issued by the Simi Valley Police Department, Sweet, off duty at the time, showed no visible injuries, but complained of pain. No bystanders or residents were injured. Simi Valley Police Department officers noticed symptoms consistent with being under the influence of alcohol or drugs and placed him under arrest, citing him as having been Driving Under the Influence.
An investigation into Sweet’s DUI citation is currently underway, according to a press release issued by the BHPD.
Sweet had been a teacher of the D.A.R.E (Drugs and Alcohol Resistance Education) program at the BHUSD’s elementary and middle schools, up until its cancellation in 2010, informing students through lectures and activities of the negative effects of consuming alcohol, abusing drugs and driving under the influence of either.
Students were dismayed by the news of Sweet’s arrest, with many openly discussing it both within classrooms and online on Facebook.
Many students were very disapproving, including sophomore Cole Plante, who found the incident, especially if motivated by alcohol or drugs, to be irresponsible.
“It’s kind of disappointing,” Plante said. “He taught us in grade school about drinking and doing drugs and driving under the influence, and seeing him do that, while we don’t know the situation, is very disappointing.”
Some, such as junior Hans Tercek remained skeptical, doubting the claims of DUI until validated.
“I think it’s a little ridiculous how people are going around saying it’s a confirmed DUI, but it’s not, really,” Tercek said. “I’m sure that if anyone else were placed in a similar situation in that they were to hit a pole, crash into a house and have their car flipped over, they, too, would feel a little woozy and show signs of being drunk once they had gotten out of the car.”
Freshman Jonathan Gunn viewed the accusation as very uncharacteristic of Sweet.
“I guess I find it very ironic,” Gunn said. “I wouldn’t think that Officer Sweet would do that kind of thing.”
Junior Adar Thau, like other students, saw Sweet as a role model and lamented the negative opinion circulating the school.
“I feel pretty terrible about how the whole scenario has blown up, just because he’s a very respected mentor in our middle and elementary school lives,” Thau said. “Everybody is obviously not perfect and because his mistake is a little bit hypocritical in a way, although we don’t know the circumstances of whether or not he was under the influence, within seconds all the respect that has built up for him has crashed down online and among our community. I feel really bad because we all love him and it’s not fair that everyone’s been giving him a lot of secret flack. I love Officer Sweet, I do.”
Highlights will continue to follow this story as more information regarding the arrest and its circumstances is made available.