Raymond Derek Hendry, a former lieutenant with the Willits Police Department, is under investigation by California’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training(POST). Hendry’s law enforcement credentials are temporarily suspended while the governing agency looks into claims of abuse of power and demonstrating bias.
Hendry has become well-known in Mendocino County since he was accused of multiple transgressions against women he worked with at Willits Police Department and a female civilian he allegedly forced into sexual acts while in police uniform.
POST specifies that the “temporary suspension” of a police officer’s certification results in the immediate revocation of their credentials “pending the outcome of an investigation related to allegations of serious misconduct.”
There are four specific circumstances that result in “temporary suspension”:
- “when a peace officer is arrested or indicted for a felony or other crime listed in GC§ 1029,
- when a peace officer is discharged from a law enforcement agency for serious misconduct, or
- when a peace officer has separated from employment as a peace officer during a pending investigation into allegations of serious misconduct.
- The temporary suspension remains in effect until either a final determination is made by the Commission or the Executive Director withdraws the “temporary suspension” if a withdrawal is deemed to be warranted.”
It is unclear what circumstances led to Hendry’s decertification. We know as early as August 2022, Hendry was the target of a criminal investigation. Lake County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Lauren Berlinn told us at the time that LCSO’s Major Crimes Unit served a search warrant on Hendry’s Ukiah home.
In December 2022, Willits Police Chief Fabian Lizaraga told us in an interview that LCSO’s findings resulted in him forwarding charging recommendations to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office for District Attorney David Eyster to determine whether formal charges would be filed against Hendry.
We reached out to both Chief Lizaraga and DA Eyster for the status of the criminal proceedings and whether their investigations prompted Hendry’s temporary suspension. At the time of publication, we have yet to hear back.
Before his time at the Willits Police Department, Hendry worked at the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy but was terminated. He rose up through the ranks at the Willits Police Department where his alleged indiscretions include sexually harassing a female officer on the force, creating a hostile work environment for a female police chief that quit the agency after one month, and committing multiple acts of sexual violence on a Willits woman while wearing his uniform inside his police vehicle.
Since the California Decertification list went into effect on January 1, 2023, the result of Senate Bill 2 designed to eliminate problematic law enforcement officers from the profession, two Mendocino County cops have landed on the list.
Former Fort Bragg Police Sergeant Christopher Award was the Golden State’s first police officer to officially become decertified. Unlike Hendry, Awad voluntarily surrendered his credentials. He was terminated from his position in Fort Bragg for admittedly engaging in a sexual, consensual relationship with a woman he arrested and perceptions his testimony in court purposefully undermined the prosecutor’s case.