NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

August 16, 2013

Haverhill officers should accept punishment

(Continued)

But an outside investigation authorized by West Newbury concluded that their officers broke no departmental rules or regulations.

Haverhill officials issued suspensions to Leeman and Pagliuca and also a 10-day suspension to officer Harry Miller, who was also at the scene. Miller, who was demoted from sergeant to patrolman, previously agreed not to fight his suspension.

Leeman and Pagliuca argued to the Civil Service Commission that it was the responsibility of the West Newbury officer, Sgt. Daniel Cena, who was first at the scene, to bring drunken driving charges against Noyes.

But Haverhill Chief Alan DeNaro rejected that argument.

“If we have a crime committed in the city of Haverhill and we have probable cause, regardless of the action or inaction of another officer from (another department) that doesn’t handle the calls we handle ... my officers with their vast knowledge and experience should have made the arrest,” the chief testified at a local discipline hearing for the officers.

DeNaro has it right. It is up to Haverhill police officers to take the lead in handling a crime that has occurred in their city, not to take their cues from what officers in another jurisdiction choose to do.

Leeman and Pagliuca failed to perform their duty. They have twice had their arguments rejected by the Civil Service Commission.

Now, they plan to drag their case into Superior Court. Leeman and Pagliuca would better serve themselves and their community by accepting their punishment.

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