On December 23rd at 10:12 AM a comment was made on The Fullertonian page through Facebook from a profile claiming to be Craig Bradley. The profile seemed to be pretty sparse, as if just created. We recently validated the post on January 3rd through Fullerton Police Public Information Officer Jeff Stuart, and this letter did indeed come from the retired officer himself regarding the claims Officer Ben Lira made in The Nordell's and the Captain's Son's Narcotics Unit. We have re-posted the comment on our site, because The Fullertonian can and will become a forum where people will not be limited by the 3 minutes provided to speakers at council meetings.
Dear Mr. Alex Stouffer,
I would like to share some thoughts I had after reading your story “ The Nordell's & the Captain's Son's Narcotic Unit”.My name is C.J. Bradley on October 20th 2010 I was the Sergeant in charge of the Fullerton Police Department Narcotic Unit and present at the “Nordell Incident”.I retired from the Fullerton Police Department in July 2012 after a 27 year career. I am proud and honored to have served the Citizens of Fullerton during that time.In October 2010 I had 4 detectives assigned to my unit. The youngest was 28 at the time, he had been a police officer for 7 years. Another one of my detectives had 19 years experience. The other two were over 30 years of age and each had 7 years experience. The unit had 65 years of combined police experience.I ran the unit for 5 years, I was given the privilege by management to hand pick the officers in my unit. I selected persons who were the hardest working, most levelheaded, even-tempered officers who had a history of showing great restraint. These officers needed to work undercover, think on their feet and deal well with stress.I selected officers who were not only college educated but also bi-lingual. I had 3 officers who could speak Spanish and one who could speak Farsi. The officers were physically fit and full of energy.Along with working Narcotics cases, my unit conducted search warrant services, probation and parole searches and located and arrested wanted persons from cases worked by the other investigative units within the department. For cops who enjoy putting really bad people in jail it's the best job to have.On October 20th 2010 we had been contacted by an Orange County Probation Officer who carried a Fullerton caseload. She asked us to do her a favor and conduct home visits on about eight of her probationers. By law, as terms of their probation, probationers are subject to search at any time without a warrant by law enforcement officers.We conducted routine work ups on the various locations we planned to visit, the work ups consisted of criminal backgrounds, calls for service, reviewing past contact information, obtaining photos of the probationers and printing aerial maps of locations from google maps.We learned that the probationer living next to the Nordell’s had a history of running from the police, in fact during his last police uniform patrol contact he had fled out the back of his house and into an alley located to the rear.I was short one detective that day and the patrol officers working the area were too busy to assist us. I made the decision to keep the unit together for this low-key probation check and ordered the 4 of us to contact the probationer at the back of the house through the back alley.My unit was standing to the rear of the location, It was a cul-de-sac so the lots are pie shaped in the back, I used my personal i phone and the printed google map we had brought with up. I used those tools and my best guess to determine which house was the probationers. I made a mistake, I was wrong.We entered the property through an unlocked rear gate and walked up to the glass rear door of the Nordell’s home. One of my detectives knocked on the door. The detective said a woman was inside the home walking towards the door. The detective was wearing a vest with a badge and the word “POLICE” across his chest. The detective yelled, “Police probation search open the door”. The detective said that the woman looked at him, said something, turned around and walked back towards the kitchen. I told the detective to open the unlocked door and call to her. He opened the door and at my direction the 4 of us entered. Mr. and Mrs. Nordell were now walking towards us, we were announcing we were the police and we were there for a probation search. None of my detectives pointed their guns at anyone, no one was handcuffed, searched, or ordered to the floor. Mrs. Nordell quickly convinced us we were at the wrong location.18 seconds to be exact, 18 seconds from the time my unit entered to the time I was apologizing for making a big mistake and entering the Nordell's home in error. I gave my business card to the Nordell's explained what we were doing and I how I had screwed up. The Nordell's thanked us for trying to clean up the neighborhood. Although rightfully upset, as I would have been myself. The Nordell's were laughing and seemed to accept my apology and explanation.The incident was recorded on our department issued recorders.We went next door, arrested the person we were looking for and apologized to the Nordell's once again before we left.I told my Captain what had happened, I was chastised by him, investigated and later received departmental discipline for my error.This was the only disciple I received in my 27-year career.To my knowledge mistaken entries such as this had happen on 2 other occasions in the past 30 years in the City of Fullerton but I was not part of the other incidents and no one was hurt as a result of those mistakes either.During my 5 years supervising the Narcotics unit we went through more that a 1000 doors never being wrong. I regret I chose the wrong door on this day. I was responsible for this mistake, Officers sometimes make mistakes. This was the worst mistake I made in my 27-year career. I praise the lord no one was injured by my carelessness.I should have known the Nordell's neighborhood better. In 1993 while serving a narcotics search warrant, just two doors from the Nordell's home I entered a house and armed suspect fired a handgun at me, the round went between my legs and hit the wall behind me. The suspect was convicted of attempted murder on a police officer and served 12 years in prison.Mr. Lira indicates that he feels that one of my detectives, Tim Petropulos was not qualified to be a police officer or had not earned the right to work in a specialty assignment.I know that Tim Petropulos is one of the smartest, kindest, hardworking persons I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I selected Tim Petropulos for my unit because he possessed the qualities I mention earlier. His father had no influence on my decision to select Tim.I know that before becoming a police officer Tim Petropulos earned bachelors degree in business. Petropulos scored and ranked number one in both the Corporal and Sergeants promotional exams.I know that Tim Petropulos has earned the rank of Sergeant not because his father had been a Captain at Fullerton PD but despite of that fact. Tim Petropulos' father, John Petropulos had long retired before Tim had earned his last promotion.I once again apologize to the Nordell's, the Citizens of Fullerton and to my fellow officers for my mistake. I pray that the Nordell's forgive me for my mistake.I worked with and supervised Mr. Lira for many years, there were many reasons why I did not select Mr. Lira to work in my unit.I do not know what motivates Mr. Lira but I do wish him peace in the future.Seasons Greetings,C.J.BradleyRetired Fullerton Police Sergeant"
Sgt Jeff Stuart also contributed to the discussion by commenting via email:
"I can speak from experience, knowing Tim from the time that he started with our agency and before, that he is probably one of the most selfless people I know. When his dad worked here, he did everything he could to distance himself from the association, because he wanted to earn respect based on his own actions and not on his father’s coat tails. Tim has moved quickly up the ranks, not because of his father, but because he is a quality employee, who goes out of his way to help others, even when there is no personal gain involved. He is a true advocate for the department and law enforcement in general and anyone that insinuates that he promoted for reasons other than what I have said is wrong; he has earned his rank."
This response is a follow up from Lira's allegations made in the article, "The Nordell's and the Captain's Son's Narcotics Unit".