A well-known school police officer is under school district investigation in a case fraught possibly with corruption or jealousy.
It’s often hard to tell the difference between truth and fallacies, especially when it comes to corruption and jealousy. These are issues parents in the Fontana Unified School District of California now face in regards to allegations against a well-known school police officer. Up for a big promotion, some of the officer-in-questions co-workers are speaking out against him, with some disturbing allegations involving the treatment of students in school.
Detective Dave Wibert was recently recommended for promotion to sergeant, but he is also under investigation by the Fontana Unified School District regarding claims of violent and aberrant behavior over his tenure as a school police officer. According to reports made by Press Enterprise, multiple allegations were outlined against the detective in an April 8th letter to the district’s Superintendent, Randall Bassett. The claims came from a cohort officer on the Fontana school police force.
The officer making the claims, Christian Shaw, cited multiple happenings that allegedly occurred over 14 years between Wibert and students. The most severe of the allegations against the school police officer stems back over a decade ago. Multiple people backed up a story that Wibert punched a Summit High School student in the gut, unprovoked.
According to reports about the incident, Wibert and another officer brought the student into an at-the-time school resource officer, Nicole Hauptmann’s office. Hauptmann confirms that the school police officer punched the student while his hands were in the air as he was being patted down. She also claims that Wibert was instigating the student, “running his mouth” at him.
In another instance, the school police officer reportedly bullied a student. Talking back to a student doing push-ups, Wibert allegedly mocked the student for how he executed his push-ups. An anonymous officer alleges he witnessed the incident but requested to remain anonymous. He stated that Wibert told the kid he would kick him in the face, mimicked the action, and threw a water bottle at him. Other claims said that Wibert slashed students’ bicycle tires, and was witnessed on duty wearing brass knuckles he claimed were there “just in case.”
Within all of the confirmed reports of serious allegations against the school police officer, Officer Shaw made apparent in his district letter that while the incidents were all reported to his supervisors, no action was taken against him in any incident. In this, Shaw points to what he believes is a problem of corruption and influence within Fontana. With family ties in official standings, Wibert is the son of the former Fontana City Councilwoman, Lydia Salazar Wibert. His mother now serves as a liaison in the district’s child welfare attendance office. Similarly, his wife, two sisters, and a sister-in-law all work for Fontana Unified School District.
Shaw and some other school police officers also believe the school police officer’s personal and close friendship with his supervisor, Sgt. Dennis Barnett led to the dismissal of violent claims. Barnett not only suggested his promotion but also sat on an interview panel for it. But while numerous anonymous officer’s backed up Shaw’s bold claims against Wibert, the district’s police chief dismissed the complaints, claiming they were made out of jealousy. “I know these officers do not like Dave Wibert, for whatever reason I don’t know. It’s a shame you’d affect someone’s livelihood because of your jealousy or insecurity. It’s just not right. These people, sitting back pouting — they haven’t taken the initiative to do anything. I know talent when I see it. I know good officers when I see them.” he said.
School district officials declined to comment further on the school police officer. Last Friday, lawyers for the district urged employees not to discuss the investigation. It is unclear for now how long the investigation will last, or how it will affect his promotion.