LARGO — A Pinellas County deputy received a 160-hour suspension and was removed from his field training duties Wednesday for falling asleep several times during his shift and allowing a deputy recruit to conduct a traffic stop unarmed, according to Sheriff's Office records.
From January to May, field training deputy Jason Walker was observed by four deputy recruits sleeping in the passenger seat of his patrol car for 10 to 45 minutes at a time, according to internal affairs records. One of the recruits told investigators Walker also dozed off during traffic stops.
Walker later admitted to sleeping on duty, but not for the amount of time the recruits told investigators.
On May 4, a deputy recruit forgot to place her firearm and stun gun on her belt. Walker allowed her to conduct a traffic stop unarmed. Walker later told investigators he wanted the recruit "to realize her own error."
Walker will complete his suspension in October, November and December.