Three Falmouth Police Officers Removed From Duty For Fireworks… Yes, Fireworks


CapeCodOnline.comSean 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.

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Comments 12

  1. Fired for theft, lying, mishandling evidence and illegal use of an illegal product. Not fired for fireworks. Big picture, folks. Big picture.

  2. Wondering if this was a last straw-that maybe they have had other misconduct issues with these officers before.

  3. On a side issue, as an active firework aficionado, every time our fireworks were taken away, I always thought ' those mofos are going to light those on their freetime. A little bit of firework karma , maybe?

  4. This happened on 4th of july and you're reporting it now fuck them this crooked system lets them confiscate people's fireworks are then enjoy them themselves fuck them. They want to lay down the law then they better follow it, I dont care how frivolous it is because you know frivolous laes would not stop them from fucking you over. The end

  5. I view this as innocent fun, being forced out of the department for this isn't a good example of the punishment fitting the crime, being reprimanded would of been one thing but being fired or forced out is unfair.

  6. Heidi you're exactly right. Fireworks are NOT an "illegal yet tolerated thing". They're illegal plain and simple. Also these are officers of the law who are expected to uphold it, not break it themselves. This is exactly the behavior that gives law enforcement in general a bad name. They broke the law they should be held accountable and obviously they aren't responsible enough to hold others accountable if they can't follow the law themselves. It's not poor management decision when the public sees their own officers breaking the law, it's a smart management decision Jeff. Was it a petty crime, yes but the law is the law and it look awful bad when the cops can break it but the rest of the population can't.

  7. It's not "just being reported now" it's just being made public now because someone only just now made the public records request. Although I'm sure it takes anywhere from 30-90 days to get what you ask for.

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