San Luis Obispo PD Chief Deanna Cantrell

San Luis Obispo PD

San Luis Obispo Police Chief Loses Gun After Leaving It In Public Bathroom

KCBS Radio Afternoon News
July 11, 2019 - 3:48 pm

San Luis Obispo's police chief has lost her gun after leaving it unattended in a restaurant bathroom.

Chief Deanna Cantrell admitted her mistake in a video statement posted on the police department’s Facebook page on Wednesday, saying she was in a restroom when she removed the gun from her holster because it did not stay clipped to her pants, and forgot to replace it when she was done. She says she realized her mistake within minutes but the gun had already been stolen.

“My actions were irresponsible and dangerous and I’m so grateful that after our preliminary investigation a child didn’t find it,” said Cantrell, in a video statement. “I was complacent, and that’s something you can never be with a firearm. I expect more from myself as a person and especially as a police officer that has carried a firearm for 25 years… I want to publicly apologize for my carelessness.”

Suspect In San Luis Obispo Police Chief Stolen Gun Case
San Luis Obispo PD
Cantrell reviewed the restaurant’s security footage and saw that the next person to use the restroom after her then immediately left the restaurant without ordering any food. She questioned the next two people to use the restroom and both said they did not see any gun.

The department is asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect, an adult male.

Cantrell has served as Chief of Police in San Luis Obispo since 2016, and previously served in the Mesa, Arizona police department for 21 years.

Cantrell said she immediately reported the theft to her superior and expects to be held accountable, although it is not immediately clear what kind of disciplinary measures she may face. The missing firearm has been entered into a national database.

While public reaction has been mixed, many comments on the department’s Facebook page praised Chief Cantrell for her transparency.