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Former Glendale SWAT leader charged with falsifying timecard

Posted: 3:21 PM, Mar 06, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-07 00:26:33-05
Glendale Police Department

GLENDALE, AZ — A recently-retired Glendale police sergeant has been charged with stealing from the city for falsifying his time card.

Sgt. Wence Arevalo, a well-known SWAT officer and active-shooter trainer, is facing one felony count of theft, court records show.

The 24-year department veteran recently retired in the middle of the criminal investigation.

ABC15 first learned of the investigation late last year and requested records related to the investigation in mid-December.

Officials didn’t release any documents until Friday, when the station asked the city for comment about the arrest.

According to the Glendale police investigation, Arevalo worked multiple outside jobs without the department’s knowledge while on the clock.

A pair of those outside jobs include teaching regular classes at Arizona Christian University and out-of-state police active-shooter training at Louisiana State University.

A brief probable cause statement issued with the criminal complaint laid out the timeframe for the alleged crime.

“Between the dates of 12/13/17 and 11/8/19, Wence Arevalo falsified his timesheet by claiming hours worked for the City of Glendale while simultaneously being claimed by other outside employment agencies. The total amount of hours falsely claimed total 74.5 hours at a total loss of $3,666.89.”

Glendale sources have raised concerns about the criminal investigation, and questioned why the city didn’t investigate going back more than two years and didn’t turn over the case to an outside agency.

In response, a Glendale police spokesperson wrote, “Our officers conducted their investigation in accordance to the information we received through the anonymous tip. The educational institutes were only able to supply us timesheets for the past two years.”

The police report doesn’t indicate specifically how the anonymous tip was received or what it specifically said.

The criminal charge was officially filed on March 4.

Records show, the case was first submitted by Glendale police to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office on January 27.

Five days earlier, Glendale’s police pension board approved an application for Arevalo’s retirement during a public meeting.

Glendale police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The city has at least one other officer under criminal investigation.

Officer Matthew Schneider, who’s currently applying for accidental disability retirement, was placed under FBI investigation after ABC15 exposed a troubling use-of-force case last year.

Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at dbiscobing@abc15.com.