A police officer in Redding, Ca., is currently on paid leave after his arrest last week for suspicion of driving a city vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
Matthew R. Zalesny was stopped by Redding police early Aug. 17 and subsequently arrested by California Highway Patrol Officer Kurt Heuer.
Police Chief Peter Hansen told the Record Searchlight that Zalesny was cited and arrested, and that the officer is now on paid administrative leave as a department investigation is carried out.
Zalesny’s law enforcement duties have also been suspended, Hansen told the newspaper.
The criminal investigation of the case has been handed over to the CHP in accordance with standard department procedure. The case is currently being prepared for the Shasta County District Attorney’s review.
Zalesny, 44, was born and raised in Redding and has worked for 23 years as a law enforcement officer.
After beginning his career with the Tehama County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy in 1988, he moved to the Anderson Police Department three years later. While there, he worked patrol and served as an officer in the department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program.
Zalesny has been with the Redding Police Department since 1994, where he has worked as an identification technician, taught defensive strategies, served on the SWAT team and served as a field training officer.
In 2007, Redding police honored Zalesny and a group of other officers for their work on an anti-gang enforcement unit.
Zalesny’s DUI arrest marks the second among Redding police officers in the last five years. In 2006, Christopher Jacoby was arrested when CHP officers found his car plowed off a highway embankment.
Jacoby pleaded guilty to the charge, paid fines, and spent ten days in jail before eventually returning to work as a Redding Police Department investigator.
Redding Police declined to provide the newspaper with the conditions of Jacoby’s discipline for the DUI arrest.