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Former Long Beach Police Officer Arrested

Allegedly stolen items recovered by Murietta police included a Long Beach police identification card and LBPD badge.

A former Long Beach police officer—who has been in trouble with the law before—remains jailed after he was arrested at his Murrieta apartment on suspicion of possession of stolen property.

The allegedly stolen items allegedly included a Long Beach police identification card and LBPD badge, according to Murrieta police.

Multiple law enforcement agencies began investigating Matthew John Gjersvold, 45, on Feb. 2 when he allegedly visited an inmate at Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning—something that as a convicted felon he was not legally permitted to do, according to arrest records.

“During a Miranda interview with Gjersvold, he admitted to visiting an inmate at Smith jail for approximately 30-45 minutes,” a Riverside County sheriff’s detective wrote in a statement in support of the ex-cop’s arrest Feb. 15.

Gjersvold was dismissed from the Long Beach Police Department in November 2008, according to news reports. He was arrested in March 2010 after the department received a complaint of vandalism and started an investigation.

In December 2010, Gjersvold was convicted of possession of an assault weapon and possession of a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to three years in state prison, but released in October 2012, records show.

When Gjersvold signed in at the jail Feb. 2 to visit his friend, he listed a Murrieta address in the 24300 block of Jackson Avenue.

Murrieta police said they were brought into the case at the request of the Long Beach Police Department.

"Essentially we investigated a possession of stolen property arrest against Mr. Gjersvold," Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad wrote in an emailed response to Patch. "Our search warrant and investigation revealed Mr. Gjersvold had in his possession a Long Beach PD ID card and Long Beach police badge. Those items have been recovered and are in our possession as evidence in the case."

Records show Murrieta police also seized computers, an iPhone, a CD and a computer bag from Gjersvold's Jackson Avenue apartment.

Those devices have been turned over to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department to be used in their investigation, according to Conrad.

As of Wednesday, Gjersvold was being held at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail, a search of jail records revealed.

He is due to be arraigned March 20 on charges including possession of stolen property, prison prior within five years and being an ex-convict on prison grounds.

News reports also indicated Gjersvold was convicted of DUI in 2009.

John B. Greet March 17, 2013 at 02:46 PM
It is very sad for me to read about the bad choices this former LBPD officer continues to make. Many read these stories and try to paint all of LBPD and, indeed, all of law enforcement, with a broad brush of condemnation. People like this just make the job of professional police officers that much more difficult.
Donna Burns March 18, 2013 at 03:13 PM
I really don't think people think all cops are corrupt, but if the ones that are were held accountable it certainly would help.
Mike Ruehle March 18, 2013 at 03:24 PM
According to the Cato Institute (figure 10 in below link), the per capita frequency rate for cops raping someone is 3 times greater than the per capita frequency rate of the general public. The rates for murder and assault are also higher. http://www.policemisconduct.net/statistics/2010-annual-report/#_Geographic_Distribution They further state, "While the rate of police officers officially charged with murder is only 1.06% higher than the current general population murder rate, if excessive force complaints involving fatalities were prosecuted as murder the murder rate for law enforcement officers would exceed the general population murder rate by 472%."
Mike Ruehle March 18, 2013 at 03:26 PM
Cops recieve preferential treatment IF charged with a crime. According to the Cato Institute: "Prosecuting police misconduct in the US is very problematic with conviction rates, incarceration rates, and the amount of time law enforcement officers spend behind bars for criminal misconduct are all far lower than what happens when ordinary citizens face criminal charges." "detailed analysis we performed on 2009 and 2010 data earlier this year, demonstrates a bias built into the justice system which continues to limit prosecutorial effectiveness against law enforcement officers charged with criminal wrongdoing." The conviction rate for members of the general public who were tried on criminal charges was 68%. The conviction rate for cops charged with a crime was 33%. Of those convicted of criminal charges, 70% of the general public whent to jail for an average of 49 months. Meanwhile, only 36% of convicted cops went to jail for an average of 35 months. Sounds like a pretty skewed system to me. Doesn't appear a cop has much to worry about even if he is accused of a crime. http://www.policemisconduct.net/statistics/2010-annual-report/#_Geographic_Distribution
John B. Greet March 19, 2013 at 12:14 AM
The CATO report does *not* state what Ruehle claims concerning per capita frequencies of the crimes of rape, murder and assault. He *knows* this to be the case because I pointed this out to him (and proved it) when he made this claim previously. A reasonable person can only conclude that Ruehle is intentionally trying to deceive Patch readers in efforts to convince them of his own biased point of view. Sad. As to the CATO quote concerning the murder rate of 472%: This information, as presented, is extremely misleading. CATO states a statistic for officers hypothetically "charged" with murder (not convicted) and compares this with a "general population murder rate" (which relates to actual *convictions*, rather than just "charges"). Further, CATO claims that "if excessive force complaints involving fatalities were prosecuted as murder the murder rate for law enforcement officers would exceed the general population murder rate by 472%." This, too, is very misleading. A prosecution for a crime is not the same as a conviction. For the "murder rate for law enforcement officers" to "exceed the general population murder rate by 472%" those hypothetical police prosecutions for murder would have first had to result in a 100% conviction rate. Again, CATO (and Ruehle) are leaping to some assumptions for which they offer no facts in support. I've explained *this* to Ruehle previously also and yet he persists in trying to mislead Patch readers. Sad.
John B. Greet March 19, 2013 at 12:24 AM
"Sounds like a pretty skewed system to me. Doesn't appear a cop has much to worry about even if he is accused of a crime." Perhaps if Ruehle spent a little more time in inquiry and analysis of his information, and a little less time leaping to assumptions, he might gain a better understanding of the challenges he so loves to complain about. Personally, I think law enforcement should be held to a higher ethical and professional standard than members of the public who are not in police work. When former officers are convicted of criminal acts, they should receive more severe sentences than those not in law enforcement, to address the blatant violations of public and professional trust their convictions represent.
Mike Ruehle March 19, 2013 at 01:21 AM
Two questions for John B. Greet, who was a long beach police officer when court cases McSherry v. City of Long Beach and Venegas v. Roberson were taking place: 1. How did LBPD justify continued employment until 2010 of officers Turley and Roberson who were found in these court cases to have lied, fabricated evidence and coerced witnesses? 2. For someone claiming to be the greatest critic of police misconduct, where was your voice during and after the outcome of these court cases in 2009? http://www.metnews.com/articles/2009/mcsh033109.htm http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F2/704/704.F2d.1144.81-5696.html
John B. Greet March 19, 2013 at 02:51 AM
I made it clear to Ruehle the first time he asked these questions, what he would need to do before I would entertain them. He's conveniently "forgotten" that also. Sad.
Sarah March 19, 2013 at 07:15 AM
Mr. Ruehle: I'm very new to patch and like reading the controversy between you and Mr. Greet. It's obviuos Mr, Greet has law enforcement experience. My ex. husband has 22 yrs in law enforcement and no interest in retiring soon. I can't help but agree with you base on my personal knowledge and experience. Could you share a little more about who you are or what your profession is? Mr. Greet, I agree. Law Enforcement should be held to a higher ethical and professional standards and accountabilty than members of the public who are not in law enforcement. Just on your comment alone -we know from experience that has never occurred, the punishment or accountability is lesser in consideration for his/her professional service to the public. Ms. Burns, I agree with your comment 100%.
Mike Ruehle March 19, 2013 at 09:43 AM
Hi Sarah, I'm a semi-retired law school educated engineer/MBA who worked 30 years in the oil industry. I am also a former 25 year resident and multiple homeowner in Belmont Shore where I was an active participant in Belmont Shore's Resident's Association and was BSRA President for 2 of those years. Following many years of trying to "work with" city and elected officials regarding resident quality of life issues, I became disheartened (maybe too kind of a word) by the lack of police and city hall support for my community and its officials who often lied and told me what they thought I wanted to hear in hopes I would simply go away. I found when questioned about their lack of support, officials frequently resorted to ridicule in attempts to marginalize people they publicly declared to be "malcontents" or "activists." That left me two options; either vanish as most frustrated people do, or become more aggressive. I chose to become more aggressive and shortly afterwards resigned my community representative role on the BSRA board. Most of my friends have heard me reminisce about my life before my BSRA participation, back when I was dumb and happy, before city hall made me into what I am today. That was before I knew and personally experienced city and elected officials who ignored people asking for their help unless those people were politically connected. Changing Long Beach's out-of-control police department is but one of my concerns.
Mike Ruehle March 19, 2013 at 09:51 AM
The only thing clear is the dodging of two questions by someone who blindly supports police officers and their misconduct.
John B. Greet March 20, 2013 at 01:47 PM
"...someone who blindly supports police officers and their misconduct." What part of: "Personally, I think law enforcement should be held to a higher ethical and professional standard than members of the public who are not in police work. When former officers are convicted of criminal acts, they should receive more severe sentences than those not in law enforcement, to address the blatant violations of public and professional trust their convictions represent." ...does Ruehle not understand?
Mike Ruehle March 20, 2013 at 10:12 PM
So then answer the questions regarding McSherry v. City of Long Beach and Venegas v. Roberson where two people were exonerated after serving years in prison due to the illegal acts of your fellow Long Beach police officers: 1. How did LBPD justify continued employment until 2010 of officers Turley and Roberson who were found in these court cases to have lied, fabricated evidence and coerced witnesses? 2. For someone claiming to be the greatest critic of police misconduct, where was your voice during and after the outcome of these court cases in 2009? http://www.metnews.com/articles/2009/mcsh033109.htm http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F2/704/704.F2d.1144.81-5696.html
John B. Greet March 21, 2013 at 01:47 AM
"So then answer the questions regarding McSherry v. City of Long Beach and Venegas v. Roberson" I made it clear to Ruehle the first time he asked these questions, what he would need to do before I would entertain them. He's conveniently "forgotten" that also. Sad.
Mike Ruehle March 21, 2013 at 03:12 AM
Repeat, the only thing clear is the dodging of two questions by someone who blindly supports police officers and their misconduct.
John B. Greet March 21, 2013 at 03:44 AM
Sad...
Donna Burns March 21, 2013 at 09:59 PM
Stating an opinion of an incident and citing the article you've found concerning it should be plenty to get your opinion Mr. Greet. ARE you dodging the questions ?
John B. Greet March 21, 2013 at 10:41 PM
Hi Ms. Burns. On 3/5 @ 12:42am, in comments on the below-linked article, I made it clear to Ruehle what he would need to do before I would entertain his questions. If he's not interested in meeting my requirements, then he's not really interested in having me entertain his questions. http://belmontshore.patch.com/articles/long-beach-police-kill-redondo-beach-burglary-suspect#comments I doubt he will ever meet those requirements, because to do so he would have to, among other things, *admit* that information he had posted on another matter was false. It has been my experience that Ruehle has never once acknowledged *any* falsehood on his part, even on those occasions during which someone has proven his proven his information false or even when his own subsequent comments contradicted information he, himself, had previously offered. My goal is to try to encourage Ruehle to start commenting in a more intellectually honest manner and to provide proof when he makes various claims, allegations, and accusations. Ruehle appears to want something from me. If he wants it bad enough, to get it he will have to do what I previously asked him to do. If he continues to refuse, then he will likewise continue to be disappointed in this regard.
Donna Burns March 22, 2013 at 04:44 AM
It would be far more productive if we all would drop the attitudes with each other, and discuss the issues here like the civil beings that we are !
John B. Greet March 22, 2013 at 05:28 AM
Perhaps so, Ms. Burns. Perhaps so. I was raised to understand that it is uncivil and counter-productive to be dishonest and to intentionally mislead people. Perhaps if Ruehle would try harder to avoid those sorts of behaviors and, instead, try to behave in a more civil manner, others might find his comments less objectionable. Just an observation.
France's March 24, 2013 at 07:07 PM
J. Geet. Every time a long beach polic officer is arrested. You try and distance the LBPD from that officer. Its a department issue. the lbpd gets a reality check atleast once or twice a year. Dude LBPD has that good old boy structure. It starts from the top and trickles down to all the new recruiters.
John B. Greet March 24, 2013 at 10:13 PM
France's: Can you point to a single LBPD Department policy or procedure that authorizes, requires, or even encourages any of its employees to violate any statutory or case law? If so, please do so. If not, then please explain how LBPD can rightly accused of doing these things. LBPD receives and investigates hundreds of misconduct complaints each year. LBPD sustains a significant number of these complaints and provides either retraining, discipline, or both, to those officers and according to well-established written guidelines. LBPD instantly begins investigating any allegation of criminal conduct on the part of its employees and, where the evidence supports it, arrests and files charges against those officers. If all of the aforementioned is true (and it is) how can anyone reasonably believe that LBPD encourages misconduct or criminality, or somehow perpetuates a culture of corruption within its ranks?
Donna Burns March 30, 2013 at 08:17 AM
LBPD as most or all police agencies INVESTIGATE THEMSELVES !! An outside, unbiased agency should handle ALL investigations of misconduct or corruption within ALL police agencies.. Just a side note * TODAY * in the wrongful death trial of Douglas Zerby one of the topics that was put to Pamela Amici (Doug Zerbys' mother) as she testified ) by the LBPD attorney was some BS that "she didn't have a close relationship with her son Doug Zerby." Besides being a total lie, what on earth did it have to do with her son being shot by the cops for nothing ?
John B. Greet March 30, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Donna, I agree in part. I think it is very important that we continue to *require* (not just allow) law enforcement agencies to police themselves, but I also believe that stronger civilian oversight is critical to both detecting and preventing corruption and maintaining public confidence. I have long advocated for a re-organized, strengthened, and re-purposed Civilian Police Complaint Commission (CPCC) in Long Beach. The CPCC should answer directly to the Council (rather than the City Manager) and each Council Member should have to serve a tour as an adjunct commissioner, attending meetings and reviewing investigative reports. The current Councilmember so serving should be required to report on the CPCC's investigative activities during general Council sessions once per month. Some of the information is legally considered confidential and, so, cannot be made available to the general public, but direct Council oversight would provide the citizens with more direct control of these investigations, since it is the voters who elect the Council. In this way, I think there would be less likelihood of favoritism or corruption and perhaps public confidence in these investigations would increase. On a side note, the CPCC posts meeting agendas and annual reports on its website at: http://www.longbeach.gov/cpcc/default.asp The CPCC should also be posting meeting minutes and keep their annual reports more current.
Visitor April 20, 2013 at 03:18 PM
I appreciate how John B. Greet in these discussions. I do not believe all police are corrupt. Yet, something is going on in Long Beach that needs to be addressed. I do not live In Long Beach. Unfortunately my Mom moved to Long Beach about a year ago. My experiences with Long Beach Police-- They are horrible!!!!! Not long ago I waited as what looked to be a home less man cross an intersection. The light has already turned green but he was elderly and only half way across the street. I was the only car at the intersection. I waited watching him as he crossed the street. A police car came up behind my car and the driver obviously only looked at the traffic light not the cross walk. I honked my horn at the police car pointing at the old man crossing the street. The police car turned on some horrible alarm and ran this poor man up to the corner. A saw the two polices officers laughing. Protect and serve my ass!!! I wonder what kind of cover up and lies would of resulted if I had to warned this police car to not hit this poor soul. There is nothing funny about an elderly homeless man that obviously has trouble walking. I think this careless act is symbolic of the Long Beach polices lack of humanity. A police officer can not protect and serve what he or she does not instinctively respect. A true love of people and community is essential to protect and serve and it is the life blood of true justice. In my visits I have many more police stories. SAD

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