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Former Valley cop in charge of professional standards placed on Brady List

In 2005, Joe Pacello joined the Goodyear Police Department. This year, he was fired and placed on the Brady List.
Credit: 12 News

GOODYEAR, Arizona — Joe Pacello, the former Goodyear Police Department lieutenant in charge of the SWAT team and professional standards bureau, has been placed on the Brady List after several incidents within the department. 

The Brady List contains the names of law enforcement officers who have lied, committed a crime, or had an incident that leaves them with questionable credibility.

Pacello had worked for the Goodyear Police Department since 2005.

Below is a timeline of the incidents involving Pacello: 

February 2017: Incident at Pacello’s home

In February of 2017, officials said Pacello invited then Goodyear police officer Jamie Cole to his home. The two were having a secret, sexual relationship, according to police records and testimony. Pacello told investigators he had been training Cole for the SWAT team. He said he put her through an at-home test he devised on his own. He said it consisted of him handcuffing and blindfolding her, then filling a bathtub with ice water where Cole’s head was repeatedly submerged.

Cole said she did not give explicit consent. She described the ice water incident as waterboarding and said he sexually assaulted her afterward. Pacello was not charged with a crime and said the sexual encounter was consensual. 

RELATED: Bathtub full of ice water| Former Goodyear SWAT commander appeals termination

Summer 2019: Incident outside female officer’s home

According to attorneys representing the city of Goodyear, in the summer of 2019, Pacello showed up to Cole’s home and tried to get inside locked doors while yelling outside. Their sexual relationship had recently ended. The incident was witnessed by neighbors who said they would have called police had they not known both involved were the police.

Pacello said the neighbors misunderstood.

August 2020: Jamie Cole reports Pacello

In August of last year, then Goodyear police officer Jamie Cole made a report about Pacello to Chief Santiago Rodriguez, sparking an internal investigation. The investigation was handled by the Department of Public Safety because Pacello led the professional standards unit which handled internal affairs in Goodyear. Chief Rodriguez instructed Jamie to report any possible crimes to the Chandler Police Department. Chandler PD also opened a criminal investigation. 

Shortly after coming forward, Cole left the Goodyear Police Department.

November 2020: Goodyear hires a new deputy chief 

In November of 2020, Goodyear PD announced hiring Deputy Chief David Farrow. He worked for 20 years in Gurnee, Illinois followed by three years with the Peoria Police Department.

Farrow oversaw the Pacello investigation and ultimately recommended terminating Pacello.

January 2021: Change in SAU chain of command

In January of 2021, according to a memo provided to 12 News, the decision was made to place the special assignments unit under the Field Operations chain of command. SAU includes the SWAT team. This meant Deputy Chief Farrow would oversee that bureau and Farrow began a “systematic review.”  

March 2021: Pacello is fired

In March, Goodyear PD announced Pacello’s termination.

RELATED: Goodyear police lieutenant in charge of internal affairs terminated for violating policy

April 2021: 12 News reports on “Hell Day”

In April, the 12 News I-Team aired an interview with Jamie Cole, the former Goodyear police officer who accused Pacello of misconduct and sexual assault.

The I-Team also exposed Goodyear’s long history of a secret SWAT initiation day known internally as “Hell Day.”

RELATED: Goodyear lieutenant fired, outside criminal investigation reveals secret ‘Hell Days’ for SWAT recruits

May 2021: Goodyear’s SWAT team shuts down

On May 1, Goodyear’s SWAT team was placed in a non-operational status. For three months, the team would stay non-operational as leadership went through new local and national training. The team also revamped it’s SWAT selection day and no longer includes handcuffing, hooding, tear gas exposure, or water exposure.

RELATED: Goodyear SWAT team goes non-operational after hazing allegations exposed

May 2021: Pacello appeals his termination

In a two-day hearing, Pacello pleaded his case appealing to get his job back. He ultimately lost his appeal and his termination was upheld.

RELATED: Former Goodyear SWAT lieutenant loses appeal to get his job back

August 2021: Goodyear police brings SWAT team back

After a three month stand down, Goodyear PD brought it's SWAT team back online in August. During the inactive period, documents show SWAT leaders attended local and national training. The special assignment unit's policy and standard operating procedure were completely rewritten and the testing evaluation process was changed to no longer include gas or water exposure, handcuffing or hooding.

12 News was invited to watch a mock testing day. 

September 2021: Pacello is placed on the Brady List

Arizona’s Peace Officer Standards and Training Board confirmed to 12 News it has an open and pending case for Pacello.

12 News reached out to Pacello's attorney for comment but we have not heard back.

RELATED: Goodyear's SWAT team is back up – with new standards