The following are contents of a Westfield Police Memo from Westfield Police Chief John Parizeau and obtained by The Fact of The Matter.
To: All Supervisors
From: Chief John M. Parizeau
Date: October 25, 2007
Re: Non-acceptable conduct of Superior Officers
It is unfortunate that I have to address the following, but due to the serious nature of
the complaints that I am receiving, I would be remiss in not doing so. More than a
few personnel have contacted me with serious concerns about what they are hearing
from Superior Officers. Quite frankly, if what is being told to me is true and factual,
then I believe I'd have more than sufficient cause to terminate, or at least demote,
those in question.
To start with, lets remember that a Police Department is a quasi-military
organization. It is not a democracy. We have policies and rules we follow. You don't
have to agree with them, but you will enforce them. Under no situation will a
Superior Officer make any comment or communication to a subordinate Officer
indicating his displeasure with any order, policy, rule, or regulation. Also, let me be
absolutely clear on this; if a Superior Officer does not like his supervisor, he had
better learn to keep it to himself. We all have our personal views of our co-workers,
and that's fine, but if I find out that a Supervisor is disparaging their Supervisor, or
another Supervisor to a patrol officer or a detective, expect to be charged. And this
includes comments made while off-duty.
For those that may not know, one of the reasons that the hand scanner put in place
was because a small number of personnel were stealing time. They were entering full
shifts in the sign-in book but not working those hours. And not one of those Officers
was a Patrolman. Since I had just started as Chief, I opted not to charge those
personnel even though I had been provided with more than sufficient evidence to do
so. I wanted to start with a "clean slate" and move on. With that said, it becomes
apparent that I make clear what is expected of Lieutenants and Sergeants. From what
I have been told and see, some of our Patrol Officers act more professionally than
some of our Superior Officers do. Consider this the last warning on this behavior.
Our Rules and Regulations spell out our responsibilities, and I recommend that you
review them on a regular basis. But way too often forget we were all hired to work
for the people of Westfield; whether they are residents, business owners, or visitors.
Some of us are too worried what other personnel are doing that we fail at provide an
acceptable level of service to the community and our department, When we become
Supervisors, it shouldn't mean our work load decreases and that all we are
responsible for is to see that our subordinates are working. You are there to lead,
train, assist, and to maintain discipline and morale of your Officers. You are there to
enforce the laws of this state and town, and the policies of this department. If you
have to cover a school post because no one is available but you, I hope you see that
the safety of a child is more important than the "I'm a supervisor and I don't do that"
attitude. If you have to follow up on an incident or assist in your subordinate's work
because there's a shortage of manpower, do it because it is what is expected of you
and it's the right example to provide to your subordinates. If you're disparaging this
department, other personnel, policies, etc. to your subordinates or other personnel,
you need and will be removed from your position.
To some of you I apologize in that these issues do not reflect your conduct. But to
those that may have acted with such unprofessional behavior, consider this fair
warning. It will not be tolerated and I will do everything necessary to put a stop to it.
I consider it an extreme honor to be working as Chief of this department with so
many fine Officers and Supervisors. It is because of those Officers that this type of
behavior be addressed and terminated.
I don't expect any of us to be perfect but I do expect you to perform to the best of
your abilities. I expect you to act with professionalism. I expect you to work towards
the goals of this department and to the needs of citizens of Westfield. I am always
open to constructive criticism and welcome any ideas that you may have to insure
that this department carries out its responsibilities to the Town of Westfield and its
After reading this memo, one would have to ask several questions.
1. If there are "policies and rules we follow", is there not a policy that directs the Westfield Police Chief on what rules should be followed when he has "more than sufficient evidence" to charge the thief/thieves that were "stealing time"?
2. If a supervisor can "expect to be charged" for "disparaging their Supervisor to another Supervisor.....", why was the Supervisor/Supervisors, who the Westfield Police Chief had "been provided with more than sufficient evidence to do so" not charged for "stealing" time?
3. If one of the reasons the "Hand Scanner" was put in place was because a small number of personnel were "stealing " time, why has it been disconnected and placed in storage?
4. Is the Westfield Police Chief "open to constructive criticism" and does he "welcome any ideas that you may have to insure that this department carries out its responsibilities to the Town of Westfield and its residents"? If so, here is an idea for starters, perhaps he should practice what he preaches.
5. Integrity and honesty are paramount in the daily duties of a police officer. Why has the Supervisor(s) not been terminated from employment for "stealing time"?
The rank and file of the Westfield Police Department deserve better leadership. Different sets of rules and preferential treatment for different people should not exist in a "quasi-military organization".