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MARK FRENCH: Former sheriff’s an embarrassment to the law enforcement family

Letter by Gary S. Lynn, gig harbor on May 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm with 39 Comments »
May 19, 2011 2:55 pm

Former Pierce County Sheriff Mark French wants to clear his conviction for child porn (TNT, 5-18). He should have thought about that before Tacoma police found more than 100 child porn photos on his laptop computer.

He is a convicted felon and should be treated as such. He is an embarrassment to all current and retired law enforcement family.

(Lynn is retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.)

Leave a comment Comments → 39
  1. puyallupmutt says:

    Fife – drunk crashed cop does not lose his job or even held accountable by Fife. Not even DUI tested by Sumer PD (good ole boy club).
    Tacoma – Ambert alert cop falls asleep on job
    Puyallup – Road rage cop sues to get his job back.
    Seattle – cop shoots transient whitting a stick for no good reason.
    King Co – barges patron against a wall causing brain damage – no action.
    Should we be surprised ?
    I propose the most embarrassing is given the Sheriff Janovitch award every year. He set the bar so high for local police behaviour (Brame was a close second).

  2. The public lacks trust in Law Enforcement. I am sure there are some good officers.

  3. The Fircrest Police Force is superb! They are dedicated and hard working and truly care about their community and its residents. They deserve many “Attaboys.”
    Here is one from me.

  4. Westend253 says:

    Chief Cheesman is a good person who does good things, that is why.

  5. ItalianSpring says:

    Request denied.

  6. MikeJamison says:

    I’m probably gonna catch “blogosphere hell” for this but it needs to be said. Mr. French retired about 11 years ago. The conviction occurred four years after retirement. I’m not sure how that makes him an embarrassment to law enforcement. It’s unfortunate that he will be judged by this incident alone without consideration for his 30 year, distinguished career, which was well publicized in this paper. He made a huge mistake and paid, and is still paying, a high price for it. When others seek to vacate their convictions, it doesn’t get any ink. A high price indeed!

    As someone said yesterday in a blog comment under certain circumstances the law lets a felon seek to vacate the conviction. If French’s crime fits those circumstances, he is entitled to avail himself of the law, as is ANYONE whose crime meets the law. If we do not like that, then we must change the law rather than condemn the person seeking redress under the law.

  7. Kiddie porn. That’s all you need to know. There are felonies and then there are Felonies. This is the latter. He got all the mercy when he was able to escape jail time. The feds are handing out three and four year prison sentences for kiddie porn first offenders.

  8. Dear_John says:

    We are all watching, Brian, what will your ruling be?

  9. harleyrider1 says:

    Mark French was an excellent Sheriff and well-liked. He retired. Years later, he was arrested and that arrest had nothing to do with law enforcement. He was arrested by the very department he served which proved they continued to do their job long after he left.

    No one was embarrassed on any police department. He didn’t work there. As for retired guys being embarassed, why? They didn’t do anything.

    This had nothing to do with law enforcement… except the post from a retired cop from L.A.

  10. LibertyBell says:

    How to become Chief, in the State of Confusion?

    Become a Rapist, just like the Governors attempts at defending the rapists, Vote Christine sand you too can get raped by the State..,a local state4 and federal job requirement!

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/31080764.html

  11. LibertyBell says:

    And harlyrider1?
    “this had nothing to do with law enforcement?”

    Amusing comment, from a long going problem taught at the Police Academy.

    http://www.krem.com/news/local/117843813.html

  12. sierradog says:

    Just because French was retired does not mean his actions do not reflect on Law Enforcement. Being an Officer is a lifestyle choice that follows you 24/7 and to your grave (current Officer 20+ yrs). Don’t like it? Go work at Boeing instead. French made far more than a “Mistake”. A mistake is drinking 3 beers and thinking you can still drive. Sure you’re still under the legal limit but that isn’t the issue. Something like drinking 3 beers and driving is a lapse in judgement, a mistake. Downloading over 100 images of child porn is more. It is a thought out, planned and executed crime. French knew that he was committing a state and federal crime. Now he wants to restore his rights. Sorry Mark but you voluntarily gave up those rights when you clicked on that first child porn image. You willingly traded your 30 yrs of service away. You shouldn’t get anything back!

  13. puyallupmutt says:

    In Europe, the dopey runt of the family was usually sent off to the priesthood. In the new world, they become law enforcement officers.

  14. Theoldsergeant says:

    Sheriff French served honorably in the Pierce County Sheriff Department. In truth he was respected by many and no doubt disliked by a few. He helped many have a successful Corrections/Law Enforcement career and indeed fired those who could not meet department standards (they know who they are). He also took LESA from being a mess to a viable organization. But, for his actions after retirement he was arrested, convicted and sentenced. He served his time. There is no doubt that he damaged his reputation and his family. He paid heavily for it. Now, this newspaper and those who should be really careful, “throwing Stones” are, trying to convict him again. He deserves better and I hope he is successful with his request. Lots of luck Mark.

  15. lovethemountains says:

    I know Mark French. I cannot agree that he was a “great” sheriff. He served, he did some good things and retired. Let’s not try to make him a saint as some here seem to want to do.

  16. lovethemountains says:

    Added: And yes, he is an embarrasement to law enforcement both active and retired.

  17. Parkland says:

    Puyallupmutt: “I propose the most embarrassing is given the Sheriff Janovitch award every year. He set the bar so high for local police behaviour.”

    Also of note is that French was already a high ranking officer under Janovich. As a captain under Lyle Smith and Ray Fjetland, French had been rumored to be involved in “things” which I certainly can’t prove, but I have zero respect for the guy. He’s common pond scum, no different than a petty jerk sitting in the county jail, and the fact that he was a “trusted” public servant should be one more knock against him, not the other way around.

  18. I’d sure like to know where the YWCA (self-described defenders of single mothers and children) is on this. I don’t remember them saying anything when the bust happened.

    We sure don’t hear anything now. Way too quiet.

  19. PumainTacoma says:

    Amen from a man in blue,! Sheriff French got a sweetheart sentence on his yacht which is his home!!!! Yet the prosecutor elected to safeguard children chose to give his buddy ( drinking buddy) a break. These are the sickos we are paying their pensions. Where in the world name a country where a former sheriff would get a pension after committing kiddy porn?

    Tacoma is one sick town,

  20. BlaineCGarver says:

    Don’t like the law? Change it. Any Cop following the rules/laws can hold his head high no matter what. Any moron painting the entire Brotherhood with a tar brush for the antics of a couple bad apples are beyond wrong.

  21. Parkland says:

    Blaine: “Any moron painting the entire Brotherhood with a tar brush for the antics of a couple bad apples are beyond wrong.”

    Simply dishonest rhetoric intended to end discussion. No one is painting the “entire Brotherhood”, and unless you’re still in grade school, you know this, too.

  22. PumainTacoma says:

    Good for those who stand up against perverts like TPD Giles and Sheriff French! tacoma has a long list of sicko perverts and it is a slap in the face when the TNT editor in 2006 defended a Mason MS teacher who raped a child, the TNT stated, “she was 14′ not 4″ as if that has any psyho berring. The TNT editors dont even protect children, unfortunately it took a writer OUT of state to shed light on the insane thought of comuting French! Un fricken believable!

  23. Theoldsergeant says:

    Reference lovethemountains comments and others.. Who said anything about making Sheriff French a Saint. If you are part of the Law Enforcement Community I suspect you and others may have regrets as well. If part of the criminal element, you have no credibility. If you are a person who was fired from the department for your actions or inactions you have nothing to say of value. Put downs of the Sheriff and Police department as a whole, along with hints of shady, secret misdoings, is childish and just plain stupid. If you do have evidence of those “shady happens” report it with facts not BS. Some of the comments here are just plain ignorant and by those who take this opportunity to air their personal grievances in secret.

  24. Parkland says:

    theoldsargent: “If you are a person who was fired from the department for your actions or inactions you have nothing to say of value.”

    Now why, I wonder, would you say that? If Janovich fired someone, for whatever reason, how would that go? Does your comment pass the smell test there? I don’t think so, homes.

    How ’bout someone who did an accident (at 35th and Bridgeport) and was told to write a report about a totaled car and and an injured neck that belonged to the niece of a department captain? I guess, but it was a lie, there wasn’t even a paint scratch.

    Remember Bananola? Poor bastard was shot during a drug raid. On whom? Oh yeah, Brian Eggleston, brother of deputy Brent Eggleston. Seriously, who does a full on raid on some schmuck whom the detectives had to seriously beg to sell them a small amount of pot? The guy wasn’t a dope dealer, he was the brother of a deputy that they wanted to embarrass out of the department. I know it, they know it, the TNT knows it, but no one will say it.

  25. L_B,
    “State of Confusion”
    A Nice article, completely lacking any mention of the Governor, her supposed support of the rapist, or job requirement.

    “taught at the Police Academy”
    Another nice article that does not mention the curriculum of the Police Academy.

  26. harleyrider1 says:

    to Sierradog: Being a police officer is just a job. It’s not what you were before you put on the uniform and it’s not who you are after you leave it. Most police officers are not police officers 24-hours a day and most retired officers realize they are no longer police officers.

    Like Boeing, it was a job, a good job. Nothing more, nothing less. You do it, you serve, you retire.

    For those that do not enjoy life after they leave their jobs, I suppose those were the “good days” they wish they had back. They certainly have nothing greater if they lived that 24/7.

  27. Parkland says:

    harlyrider: “Being a police officer is just a job. It’s not what you were before you put on the uniform and it’s not who you are after you leave it.”

    I disagree. It’s been thirty years since I’ve shot a line to a supply ship for an unrep, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a navy veteran, proud to have sailed. It’s the same as a cop. It’s been twenty five years since I’ve cuffed a guy in the name of Pierce County, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a former cop, proud to have served my community. I did that for only a few years, but it’s more than just a job, it’s an obligation to the people you serve, and unless you feel that obligation, you shouldn’t be there.

  28. KARDNOS says:

    “Parkland says:
    May 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm
    Blaine: “Any moron painting the entire Brotherhood with a tar brush for the antics of a couple bad apples are beyond wrong.”

    Simply dishonest rhetoric intended to end discussion. No one is painting the “entire Brotherhood”, and unless you’re still in grade school, you know this, too.”

    I’m laughing at Blaine and Parkie arguing this point. Both of they paint Muslims with a broad brush for the actions of those on 9/11/01…..

    Meanwhile, anyone that things French took up child porn after retirement needs their head examined

  29. KARDNOS says:

    make that “thinks”….

  30. Parkland says:

    Kardnos, an old usenet rule says that you should never hit the “send” button if you’re drunk or high. Learn it. Live it.

  31. Theoldsergeant says:

    For Parkland. I”m aware of the Deputy Bananola story. I knew him personally. I’ll say it again, if you and others are aware of misdoings by anyone in the Law Enforcement Community and that includes Corrections, report it. By not reporting it could make you an accessory. You know that and I know that! But, running out conspiracy theories and other such tripe does little especially from an alleged ex-officer or deputy. As for your “smell” test, give me a break! If you knew the workings of the Police and Sheriff Department you would not make such statements. As for your Eggleston Theory, that is the dumbest thing I have heard. But, this is about Sheriff French isn’t it?

  32. KARDNOS says:

    “Parkland says:
    May 21, 2011 at 9:46 am
    Kardnos, an old usenet rule says that you should never hit the “send” button if you’re drunk or high. Learn it. Live it.

    Since I haven’t been drunk or high since before the United States’ National Science Foundation (NSF) commissioned the construction of the NSFNET, a university 56 kilobit/second network backbone using computers called “fuzzballs” by their inventor, David L. Mills, I”m safe

    On the other hand, I’ll trust that your hypocrisy will carry on

  33. Parkland says:

    oldsargent, not sure if you’re trying to convince passers by, or if you’re just plain naive.

    Also: “.. if you and others are aware of misdoings by anyone in the Law Enforcement Community and that includes Corrections, report it.”

    Ever try that? I did, and shortly after speaking with a sargent at the South Hill precinct, was threatened with an assault arrest by the deputy who’d been at the scene. A pretty easy bluff to call, actually. Upon following up a few weeks later, Masko, the guy who was doing internal stuff at that point, insinuated that the only reason I’d reported the incident was an attempt by me at insurance scam. He didn’t know I had no horse in the race, I was just there. A couple of days later, I got a letter informing me that my complaint had been looked into, and the deputy at the scene had done nothing wrong. Odd, since not one of the people at the scene had been contacted for an opinion.

    I have first hand experience on both sides of the wall, bub. You may choose to be blind and stupid, that’s up to you.

  34. Even despite all that’s been said here: request denied.

  35. OldSeargent-Christopher Coy Clark, crashed his car March 27, 2010 off 104th and Canyon.

  36. Oops, let me finish. Crashed his car March 27, 2010 in Puyallup. Called a subordinate on duty WSP officer(Gruener) from King County to drive down and help him(while Gruener was on duty in King County). Left the scene of the accident, was breathalyzed 3 hours later at his ex-wife’s house…. still a .07, arrested for DUI and for attempted coverup(not for leaving the scene of an accident). His charges-NONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Had to do a 30 day alcohol treatment, that’s it. Multiple priors. And the best part-I made a second public records request with WSP just 12 days ago or so, and I got a call from a friend of his ex-wife wanting to know why I was making a public records request….LOL, WSP is so corrupt it isn’t even funny. I live only about 50 blocks from this sociopath, and the WSP communications officers think its appropriate to tell a pyscho when a member of the public makes a public records request. This guy has been given chances over and over, and been let off the hook over and over. Still has his badge pinned to his chest versus being behind bars….

  37. Theoldsergeant says:

    Parkland. You have both sides? I seriously doubt it. I know Captain Masko and believe him to be one of the finest. But, I sure wonder about you if indeed you served in TPD, PCSO or any other law Enforcement Department. From my experience citizen complains are taken seriously even when they obviously have no merit or are false reports. From the sound of your tale your story is likely to be one of those. If indeed you did serve in a Law Enforcement Commissioned/Corrections position I wonder why you are no longer. Your comments sound like they come from a very bitter man. Go get some help.

  38. Parkland says:

    oldsargent, I suspect my time at PCSO was well before your part in any mutual acquaintances we might share, Masko was a run of the mill west sider when I knew him, who gained notoriety by shooting a Dominoes Pizza robber while dressed up as a pizza delivery guy. I and a couple of others delivered a pizza to Fred Dillon, who’d come back to patrol from many years of traffic, and who was babysitting the bad guy in the hospital.

    Also, I’m not bitter regarding PCSO, I just recognize it for what it is. Maybe it’s better now, although I would certainly be skeptical of that, since Pastor is still running the show. In any case, I haven’t been there in almost thirty years, and don’t miss it.

    oldsargent: “From my experience citizen complains are taken seriously even when they obviously have no merit or are false reports. From the sound of your tale your story is likely to be one of those.”

    I intentionally gave almost no detail whatsoever, yet you’ve decided that my complaint was likely to have had no merit or was a false report, based on nothing other than the fact that you don’t like me. That’s just precious, and have pretty much made my case for me. Thanks, “bro”.

  39. Mark French is into little boys under 9 years old. Little girls need not worry.

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