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Friday, October 30, 2009

[MA] Officer Bayer's reinstatement raises question: Are officers who are victims of domestic violence entitled to same rights as other victims?

...[Police Union Attorney representing reinstated Officer Craig Bayer, Marc] Greenbaum noted that the Bayer case could raise novel issues, including whether a police officer really is on duty 24/7, especially when he is a crime victim or a victim of domestic violence...

Previous post:
[MA] Chief Pawlina fired (abused) Officer Bayer for a "troubling pattern" but arbitrator rules he gets his job back - ..."Think about the outcry if Craig was a female police officer who was fired over the same thing," said Bayer's lawyer... His record was spotless except for another domestic dispute in 2008 with the same woman, then a girlfriend, whom he's known since 2002...

OFFICIALS: CHATHAM POLICE ON DUTY 24/7
Cape Cod Times
By Susan Milton
smilton@capecodonline.com
October 22, 2009
[Excerpts] CHATHAM — In this town, police officers are expected to act as police officers even when they are off-duty, the town's police chief and town manager said yesterday. The two officials were reacting to an arbitrator's recent decision reinstating Chatham police Officer Craig Bayer after he was fired in March following a domestic incident at his house. The arbitrator's "strained interpretation" that the department's rules do not apply to off-duty conduct isn't consistent with the department's rules or expectations, Chief Mark Pawlina and Town Manager William Hinchey said yesterday in a joint written statement. But the union lawyer for Chatham police officers said the town already lost the same argument earlier this month when arbitrator Marc Greenbaum reinstated Bayer. "It is often the refrain that police officers are on duty 24/7 insofar as what you do off-duty could lead to on-duty discipline," lawyer Patrick Bryant of Boston said yesterday. "But here, as the arbitrator showed, the town sought to apply rules that apply to on-duty officers to an officer who was off-duty"... Greenbaum noted that the Bayer case could raise novel issues, including whether a police officer really is on duty 24/7, especially when he is a crime victim or a victim of domestic violence. The department's own policies permit victims of crime and domestic violence to decline police assistance and provide reports later, his decision stated. Yesterday, Pawlina and Hinchey disagreed with him. "We reject the arbitrator's view that a police officer, even in difficult circumstances, can fail to report a crime or can choose silence when he or she is aware that another person is covering up a criminal act by lying to the police," their statement said. "We expect a higher level of integrity than that from our police officers"... [Full article here]

CHEERS & JEERS: KEEP THE BAR HIGH
Cape Cod Times
October 30, 2009
[Excerpts] ...Kudos to the Chatham police chief and town manager who, in their efforts to maintain high standards, were recently undermined by an arbitrator. The arbitrator reinstated Chatham police Officer Craig Bayer after he was fired in March following a domestic incident at his house. The arbitrator's "strained interpretation" that the department's rules do not apply to off-duty conduct isn't consistent with the department's rules or expectations, said Chief Mark Pawlina and Town Manager William Hinchey. On Jan. 31, Bayer was slapped by a former girlfriend who also forcibly escorted another woman out of his house. Bayer reportedly failed to tell police called to the scene about the assaults on him or the second woman. He filed a written report later that day. The delayed report violated police department rules, Pawlina said, and he fired Bayer on March 3. "We reject the arbitrator's view that a police officer, even in difficult circumstances, can fail to report a crime or can choose silence when he or she is aware that another person is covering up a criminal act by lying to the police," their statement said. Less than a month ago, we wrote about the basic social contract between citizens and the police: "The contract places immense power in the hands of a select few and, therefore, we expect those people to not only abide by the law but also be above even the hint of reproach. Trust is the cornerstone of respecting authority, and it must be carefully fostered and guarded by those in power." [Full article here]

CAPE COD TIMES LETTER
October 22, 2009
It's great that Officer Craig Bayer is being reinstated after being wrongly dismissed. But how will the town of Chatham and Chief Pawlina get his house back, his credit fixed and his reputation restored?... [LINK]
[police officer involved domestic violence law enforcement massachusetts teflon recant]

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