CapeCodOnline.com – Sean Driscoll – Three Falmouth Police officers are no longer on the job after an internal investigation showed they were guilty of professional misconduct during an incident when confiscated fireworks were shot off behind a convenience store on Independence Day weekend.
Sgt. Scott Hartzler and patrolmen Kurt Baumann and Eric Kraus all left the department in October, said Police Chief Edward Dunne. A fourth officer who was part of the same internal probe, patrolman Joshua Oliver, is still employed by the department.
Dunne would not say if Hartzler, Baumann and Kraus resigned or were terminated as a result of the internal affairs investigation, the results of which were released to the Times on Wednesday following an open records request. The four had been on paid leave since July.
According to the report, the four officers were on duty July 6 for the town’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration in Falmouth Heights, which had been postponed for two days due to inclement weather. That evening, Officer Mark Mancini confiscated a silver box of fireworks. He took the box back to the Falmouth Police Department.
Instead of immediately placing it into evidence, Mancini left the box in the department’s garage at about 11 p.m. and went back on patrol with the intent of photographing and cataloguing the evidence later, the report states.
At around 1 a.m. July 7, Hartzler, Baumann, Kraus and Oliver, along with a civilian, ended up behind the 7-Eleven at 743 Main St., which is across the street from the Falmouth Police Department, the report states. Some of the men drank a few beers, and eventually Oliver lit the fuse on the firework box to shoot it off, the report states.
This is crap. We’ve got much bigger things to be worrying about than a few police officers setting off some fireworks. I’m not saying don’t discipline them, but firing them, or making them resign, or whatever happened here is bullshit. I guarantee that this exact thing has happened 8 million times in police departments all over the country with no repercussions.
Fireworks are one of those illegal, yet tolerated situations. Regular people don’t even get arrested for fireworks they just take them away, why should a few cops lose their jobs over them? It’s hard enough to find people who want to protect and serve these days. Suspend them for a while or something, but getting rid of them just hurts the entire community.
I don’t want to live in a world where a few off duty police officers can’t have a few beers and set off some fireworks without losing their jobs, I just don’t.
P.S. Then again, what do I know, I’m just one of those weirdos that doesn’t like level 3 sex offenders.Facebook: The Real Cape
Twitter: Hippie - Insane Tony
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