DAVIE - Two police officers have been relieved of duty after one was charged with beating his pregnant wife while another was charged with raping a woman while his wife slept in the same bed, police said Friday.The incidents, if substantiated, are certainly troubling in a number of ways. I'm on record here and at the old Stuck on the Palmetto, and at other places in the SoFla blogosphere, of reminding readers that police officers are humans just like everyone else. They make mistakes. Unfortunately, the difference between PO's and regular citizens is that people expect them to be perfect and immune from the stresses of what can be an extremely taxing and frustrating job. When they prove themselves to be human, their imperfections are often times held in the spotlight and criticized by some, who, quite frankly, apparently forget their own faults and weaknesses.
The more recent arrest took place Thursday, when Officer Stephen Kenneth Olenchak, 34, was arrested for two counts of rape. According to an arrest report, the victim told investigators that Olenchak brought his wife a drink before going to bed on Sunday. When his wife fell asleep, he then brought the victim something to drink, according to the report.
Davie Police spokesman Lt. Bill Coyne said police are investigating whether drugs were used in the drinks. According to the report, Olenchak then fondled and had intercourse with the victim, who said she did not consent and was not coherent enough to call out to Olenchak's wife for help.
At one point, the report states, Olenchak's wife got up to use the bathroom, and the victim said she "looked like a zombie."
Earlier this month, police arrested Vally Getejanc, 25, who has been with the Davie department since September 2007. Getejanc has been charged with one count of battery for a February 27 incident during which he was accused of throwing his wife to the ground. The two had been married just four days, and the wife was five months pregnant, according to an arrest report.
In the coming days, these two Davie police officers are probably going to be skewered in the media and on blogs as just 2 more examples of what is wrong with police officers as a whole. That's the way it's been, that's the way it will always be.
But here at SFDB I'd like to remind everyone about all the good work that law enforcement officers do in our communities and the fact that these are but two of hundreds, if not thousands, of law enforcement personnel that serve and protect us on a daily basis. They're not robots. They are humans. When they make mistakes, let's make sure we deliver the appropriate corrective action. But let's also make sure we don't unfairly stereotype a profession and a group of people because of the inappropriate actions of a few.
And the other thing: because I'm going to be busy most of the day, and because, once again, a certain babalu contributor has been unable to stay away from SFDB and the comment boards, comment moderation will be on. Feel free to comment, but the comment will be held in abeyance until it's approved. Sorry for the inconvenience, but I'm finding that this is the only way to deal with some of the South Florida blogosphere's more infantile inhabitants.