A Waterbury police officer was reinstated to her job in a recent decision by the Connecticut Board of Mediation and Aribitration.
Deborah Gulledge was a new recruit at the time of her dismissal. She had struggled through the Police Academy, and had less than stellar performance during her field training.
But should she have been disciplined for failing to investigate a driver who permitted a police cruiser at an accident scene to go ahead? Accoding to the decision of the arbitration panel, that is precisely what happened. Let me quote from the decision.
"Gulledge was also criticized because she didn't stop a driver who waived [a] police cruiser to go ahead, on the theory that someone acting courtesously toward the police must be up to something illegal." In the Matter of: City of Waterbury and AFSCME, Council 15, Local 1237 (No. 2004-A-0744)
Waterbury is a notoriously tough town. Years ago, one officer testified at a deposition that anyone injured in the course of an arrest was charged with interfering with a police officer. After all, had they not resisted, there would be no injury, right?
Waterbury is the former home of the brass industry in Connecticut, and is known as the "Brass City." The only thing now requiring burnishing in town is the anatomy of some of the knuckleheads running its police department.