DRAPER -- Officer Ben Beglarian resigned from the Draper City Police Department Friday shortly after allegedly smoking heroin in his police vehicle, and the department is still reeling from it all.
This morning a spokesperson for the department expressed shock and disappointed in his actions - and even a sense of remorse for not being able to detect a problem sooner.
"The hardest hitting thing for us is the fact that we didn't recognize the warning signs and get this officer the help he needed, and in a sense we failed him in that," said Sgt. Chad Carpenter. "That he would do it in his patrol car is a shocker for me."
A security guard spotted Beglarian Friday in the parking lot of a Sportsmans Warehouse near 7200 S. and 150 W, and then called Unified Police. When UPD officers got to the store, they found officer Beglarian walking to the nearby InTown Suites - he told them he was on his way to meet a friend. Police say they searched his vehicle and didn't find any drugs in it, but they did find drug paraphernalia on him.
The officer was cited and released and not booked into jail. About 4 p.m. Friday, he resigned from the force.
Beglarian had been with the Draper City Police Department for about 5 years. For the last 3 years he was a handler of Yasso - a veteran police dog.
Sgt. Carpenter says the officer's K9, Yasso, is now being held in a kennel until the department can decide what to do with him.
Sgt. Carpenter says the whole situation has given a black eye to all law enforcement, especially the Draper City Police Department. He says right now the focus is on regaining the public's trust.
"It's almost as if it's a loss in trust for us," said Carpenter. "We want the public to know that the actions of this officer (are) not reflective of what this department is about, and we want to make sure we maintain the trust of the citizens, and in Draper, but in all law enforcement in general. That's what we strive to do is keep the trust.
There is surveillance video of what happened, but police are not releasing it at this time. They said it is under review by the Midvale city attorney.