Investigation Finds Medfield Police Sleeping on Job During Graveyard Shift

MEDFIELD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Two Medfield police officers are on leave and several police personnel have resigned as a result of an ongoing investigation into allegations that officers were regularly sleeping on the job and avoiding active patrols.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Medfield Select Board said an investigation into the Medfield Police Department was opened in March by Internal Affairs. When Medfield Police Chief Michelle Guerette was made aware of the allegations, the town hired an independent investigator to look into the misconduct.

"While the investigation is ongoing, it has already revealed a consistent pattern of officer inactivity during the midnight shift," the statement read. "This inactivity has been revealed to be conduct of intentionally sleeping on duty or concealing themselves in or around the station for the purposes of intentionally avoiding active patrols."

The statement added that some officers were alleged to have been sleeping for five hours of an eight-hour shift.

The Select Board also said that the union which represents Medfield police officers is defending the officers' conduct.

"The union calls this 'reactive policing' and is condoning this behavior," the Select Board wrote. "The Town and the Chief believe in the value of proactive policing. Patrolling our streets, protecting our homes, stopping drunk drivers, and preventing local businesses from being broken into overnight is the standard of safety that Medfield residents deserve. The actions of the union make it clear that they do not share our values of proactive policing."

The Select Board also went after the union's claims that the officers' exhaustion was due to Chief Guerette keeping the department understaffed, forcing officers to pull double shifts multiple times a week.

"Police departments must maintain certain levels of staffing for each shift in order to ensure they are meeting their communities’ public safety needs," said the Select Board. "As a result, vacancies in shifts must be filled. In accordance with Medfield Police Department procedures, officers are first offered the overtime on a voluntary basis. If all officers refuse the overtime opportunity, the Police Chief is then forced to order an officer to cover the shift. Since beginning the narrative that officers should be allowed to sleep on the midnight shift, the union has engaged in a concerted pattern of refusing voluntary overtime to “create” a force. Payroll records show that Medfield police officers have worked less overtime shifts in Fiscal Year 2022 than in any of the preceding six fiscal years. This demonstrates that the Union’s narrative about overworked officers under Chief Guerette’s tenure is clearly false and an attempt to distract the public from the gross misconduct of certain officers."

The statement concluded that the Select Board "are committed to providing the quality and level of service that the citizens of Medfield deserve from their Police Department. We will take the necessary steps to ensure that actions by individual officers do not jeopardize that quality and level of service."

Follow WBZ NewsRadio: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | iHeartmedia App

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content