Master Instructor in Field Sobriety Testing Arrested
Captain with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office charged in Minnesota.
When Catherine Trimboli initially refused to perform a portable breath test (PBT) early Sunday morning, she knew what she was doing.
According to a statement released today by Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, the department captain was arrested on misdemeanor OWI charges at about 2:30 a.m. on Sunday in Red Wing, Minn., a small town southeast of St. Paul on the Mississippi River. In attempting to get in front of the story, Clarke has condemned the arrest and announced that he's ordered an internal investigation. Stopped because her rear taillights were out, Trimboli is accused of showing her badge to local police and asking for a "professional courtesy."
She initially refused to take a PBT at the scene but relented after a "supervising officer came to the scene," Clarke says. After the test indicated a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.14, she was "booked and released," the statement says. It's not clear how she returned to her hotel; she reportedly told police she was "only blocks from her hotel."
Clarke has placed Trimboli, normally the commander of the sheriff department's training division, on administrative leave.
Coincidentally, many of her professional accomplishments have surrounded DUI enforcement. The department's website says "she was one of the first members of the OWI Task Force and teaches Standardized Field Sobriety Tests as a Master Instructor."
"We demand that the public not engage in this behavior," Clarke notes. "That same message applies to those of us who are enforcing that standard. In fact, a higher standard applies here to law enforcement officers."
Update: Dan Bice reported back in 2009 that Trimboli, then a lieutenant, "was caught with a loaded firearm in a carry-on bag while going through a screening area at Mitchell International Airport." Security personnel took the Glock handgun, which had been stowed in a laptop case, and placed it in a safe until her return. According to the Journal Sentinel story, Clarke declined to discipline Trimboli.
She was also part of a lawsuit over how the sheriff's department handled a 2008 sergeants exam.