Tyson Green of SCPD charged with operating illegal chop shop
THE SANTA CLARA
March 31, 2016
Amid the updates from uninhibited spring breaks spent in Cabo and Las Vegas, Yik Yak was ablaze with more local news last week: the arrest of Officer Tyson Green of the Santa Clara Police Department.
Charged with operating an illegal chop shop, receiving stolen property and possession of stolen property, Officer Green was arrested by Santa Clara County sheriffs on March 25.
Green was in possession of four stolen Chevrolet Camaro engines and twelve car computers, according to a press release issued by the County of Santa Clara’s district attorney’s office. The value of these parts totaled more than $75,000.
Due to the felony nature of the charges, Green faces up to five years in prison if he is convicted.
The arrest has raised the profile of SCPD.
“I was sad to learn that one of my officers, Tyson Green, a fourteen year veteran, was arrested,” said SCPD Chief Michael Sellers. “He was put on paid administrative leave when we learned he was under criminal investigation. This is not a true reflection of the hard working men and women of this department that serve and protect our community.”
The 41-year-old officer has worked at SCPD for the last 14 years. Most recently, he was assigned to the Nuisance Suppression Unit, a position he held for the last three years.
According to Kim Gilkey-Wall, assistant dean for off-campus student life, the Nuisance Suppression Unit is charged with handling university-related issues. As a member of that unit, Green would often respond to off-campus parties and conflicts between students and non-affiliate neighbors.
Green’s profile was further elevated among students because of his involvement in Welcome Week. The veteran Santa Clara police officer would meet with incoming first-years and discuss the nature of off-campus safety, the role of SCPD in relation to the university and tips on how to interact with police officers. He was often a regular guest at the university’s “Party with the Police” event, a quarterly program intended to improve relationships between students and police officers.
Gilkey-Wall, who has worked with Green over the years, said she was “shocked” to hear about Green’s arrest, which she learned about through local news reports.
Gilkey-Wall often worked with Green in mediations between off-campus students and non-affiliate neighbors. She said that Green was fair and worked hard to recognize the needs and concerns of both students and neighbors.
“(Green) always had a nice balance,” Gilkey-Wall said. “He seemed to me to have a good sense of the letter of the law and the spirit of the law.”
Despite the allegations, Gilkey-Wall hopes that students understand that these charges are against one individual and that they do not reflect the motives or intentions of other Santa Clara police officers.
Detective Dan Marino of SCPD said that he is not worried about how this incident will affect the department’s standing in the eyes of Santa Clara students.
“This was an off-duty incident with Officer Green,” he said. “The Nuisance Suppression Unit will continue to work with the university with a sense of professionalism.”
However, the news of Green’s arrest has left some students disheartened.
“It’s disappointing when someone in a position of authority let’s you down,” said senior Jordan Enos, who works as an off-campus neighborhood ambassador. “Interacting and listening to Officer Green’s advice during events such as Party with the Police left me with the impression he was committed to changing the culture off campus.”
Enos said she was discouraged that a local leader responsible for upholding “Santa Clara values” had taken advantage of his position of power.
Several internal scandals have rattled SCPD over the past few years.
“The thing that blew my mind was the ABC7 article that had information about crimes committed by other SCPD officers,” said senior Jason Back. “I didn’t realize that they had a history of shady individuals on the force.”
According to the story, one SCPD officer was arrested last May for indecent exposure at the popular upscale San Jose shopping center, Santana Row.
Another officer was arrested the following day for trying to steal a smart watch from a local Target.
In 2010, yet another SCPD officer was arrested for conspiracy after allegedly providing confidential information to the notorious Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang.
Contact Nicolas Sonnenburg at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.