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Tempe officer resigns after inaction during Antonio Arce incident

Tempe Police
Posted at 4:55 AM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 07:55:50-04

TEMPE, AZ — Months after ABC15 learned a Tempe police officer was patrolling an alley minutes before 14-year-old Antonio Arce was killed in January of 2019, Tempe Police confirmed that officer has now resigned from the force.

Officer Alex Pina, a patrol officer with the city of Tempe Police Department for 11 years, submitted a one-sentence letter of resignation to his commanding officer on March 3.

The letter didn't say why the officer chose to leave his role at the department, but Pina didn't just leave the department, he also gave up his Arizona Peace Officer certification.

On Wednesday, the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board accepted Pina's voluntary relinquishment of his certification, meaning he's no longer able to serve as a law enforcement officer anywhere in Arizona.

“To give up that certification is a major, major deal," said former Phoenix Police Commander Dr. Jeff Hynes. “There could be any number of reasons why he chose to resign and give up his certification. He could’ve been shameful for what he did."

Pina nearly faced discipline by the department, after investigators with Tempe PD's Professional Standards Bureau found he failed to comply with police duties after learning Pina was in the area of the shooting just 15 minutes prior to the shooting. Pina admitted he did not respond to dispatch calls requesting an officer respond to the area just minutes after driving away, and chose not to inform responding officer Joseph Jaen, or others, of his previous presence.

"An examination of Ofc. Pina’s actions and, more importantly, his inactions during this incident, proved necessary," read the department's findings.

"He let his department and other officers down," said Dr. Hynes. "That incredible shame of that inside the profession of laziness or looking the other way when some negative action occurs is overwhelming.”