Officers back on the job after fatal shooting

SAN BENITO — Nearly two months after a police shooting that has rattled City Hall, police officers who fired at and killed a 21-year-old man have returned to work.

On Monday, Police Chief Michael Galvan and an officer were apparently back on the job after the city placed them on administrative leave Dec. 7, based on procedure initiated following police use of deadly force.

Law enforcement officers shot and killed Ricardo Trevino III after a chase on Dec. 7.

A third officer is apparently expected to return in April.

The city determines whether officers involved in fatal shootings are “fit” to return to work, Ricardo Navarro, an attorney representing the city, said yesterday.

However, Navarro said he could not disclose details surrounding the process used to determine whether officers under investigation could return to work.

“They have access to health care. It’s our obligation to make that available,” Navarro, whom the Texas Municipal League assigned to the case, said.

“If they want to consult with a health care provider, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, it’s there available to them,” Navarro said. “The city is in dialogue with officers if they want to be active or not. As long as we feel they’re fit, they will be allowed to work.”

Navarro said officers can return to work if they are fit to do so.

Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers are investigating whether the officers’ use of deadly force was justified.

“It’s not unusual for officers to be working while there’s a pending investigation,” Navarro said. “The city has to be paying the officers. The city would rather have them work as long as they’re fit to work, both physically and mentally.”