Jan 19, 2018: CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland police Sgt. Dean Graziolli, 51-years-old, was an exceptional patrolman and exceeded the expectations of his superiors after being promoted, even amid several disciplinary proceedings, including being convicted of staying at home despite being on-duty, according to his personnel file.
So What. Who Cares?
Graziolli is currently on restricted duty after he shot and killed 21-year-old Thomas Yatsko last week. Police say Yatsko attacked the veteran officer outside the popular Corner Alley bar in University Circle, where Graziolli was working an off-duty security shift.
Graziolli was approved to do work off-duty at the bar since April, records say.
The Cuyahoga County Sheriff is investigating the shooting to determine whether it was justified.
Well of course it was justified. Every time a cop, whether on duty or off, shoots someone it is justified. Why should this one be different?
This guy is a piece of work.
Graziolli is on administrative leave and on light-duty in the department’s gym until the sheriff’s investigation is finished,
Cleveland Fraternal Order of Police President Brian Betley said.
Disciplined Time And Again
In his 26 years as a Cleveland police officer, the Parma Heights Holy Name graduate was disciplined seven times and received two police department awards for exceptional work as a patrolman.
He was suspended once. His six other cases ended in written or verbal warnings.
And now he has killed a man. We are expecting paid administrative leave and then a quiet return to the job when the publicity fades.
Two of those disciplinary cases against him included failing to properly investigate non-deadly use-of-force cases involving the officers under his command.
He was given a written warning in 2012 for failing to properly investigate a non-deadly use of force incident because he had four errors in his final report and was nine months late in completing it, according to the records.
Other discipline stemmed from a 2004 bar fight with a fellow off-duty police officer, working an off-duty security job without authorization, failing to show up for court for two misdemeanor cases, and failing to respond to a call from a citizen trying to make a complaint.
He also received two police department awards and praise from his superiors on his performance reviews. But of course. What else could you expect. That’s the way it works in law enforcement.
In 1992, he was recognized as one of four officers who successfully and safely boxed in a car thief during a chase. Wow.
Two years later, he successfully negotiated the release of two hostages who were held inside a home by an armed burglar. He also talked the burglar into surrendering peacefully, according to his personnel file.
An Exceptional What?
Graziolli, whose annual salary is $67,000, was promoted to sergeant in 2002. His superiors wrote glowing performance reviews, calling him an exceptional leader.
The performance reviews include a ranking system on various aspects of policing. At the time, a 5 was the highest cumulative score. He ranked a 5.02 in a 2010 review.
Awesome! And now he’s killed a man. What kind of ranking will that get him?
In 2014, the year he was convicted of eight counts of misdemeanor falsification for lying about working, he received a 3.78, his lowest score but enough to still qualify him in the “exceptional” level.
What kind ranking system is this?
A Cop’s Cop
Graziolli “responds regularly to dangerous assignments and is known for deploying safe and effective standards,” his supervisor wrote. The supervisor added that he is well-respected by peers, who regularly seek out his advice.
He was praised in his most recent performance review in 2016 for his leadership ability.
A true American Hero!
And he’s also the man known in Cleveland as “Sgt. Stay at Home.”
Chief Investigator, Carl Monday, examined recent cases involving wayward cops, who are still wearing a gun and a badge.
Monday and his team caught Police Sgt. Dean Graziolli on 14 occasions at his west side home, when he was supposed to be at work across town at the 4th District. Sometimes, up to three hours at a crack.
Indicted By A County Grand Jury
Graziolli was also indicted by a County Grand Jury on 11 criminal counts, including theft in office and dereliction of duty. But in a plea deal with prosecutors, the officer pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor of falsification of records. He was placed on probation.
That makes him a convicted criminal.
He is still on the Cleveland police force.
And now he has killed a man.
This ranks him as an All American Police Officer.
Also, Internal Affairs found, on one day, Graziolli made or received 20 cell phone calls while out of his district. Another day, he was on the phone…while on duty…in North Royalton, 18 miles from 4thDistrict Headquarters.
Apparently Graziolli likes to roam. Or maybe he just gets lost?
These are the kind of people keeping our cities safe.
Is Sgt. Dean Graziolli an exception?
No, he is not.
There are more, many more of his type patrolling your streets right now.
Bet on it.
Corner Alley, popular bowling alley, bar and restaurant in University Circle.
Cleveland’s Fourth Police District. We added this for Graziolli in case he ever gets lost again and needs to find his way home.