Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dumb, just plain dumb

Okay, your department puts GPS devices in your patrol cars, asks you to fill out daily logs and you can't figure out they'll discover you're not on patrol or working?

Two police officers fired for conduct

Allegheny dismisses twp. couple accused of tending to personal matters while on duty

By Kristy MacKaben, For the Mirror

Allegheny Township supervisors voted unanimously to fire two township police officers for spending ‘‘excessive amounts of time” at their private business or home while on duty.Supervisors based their decision on evidence presented at a public hearing Jan. 4 showing Robert Salimbene spent about 50 percent of his time at his home on Hilltop Drive or private business, Havana DayDreaming, while on duty as an officer.

His wife, Sandra, spent about 25 percent of her time at home or the business while on duty. Robert Salimbene, an officer for about 17 years, and Sandra, for about five years, were suspended Dec. 11 for neglect of duty.

From Oct. 31 to early December Global Positioning System devices were installed in the department’s cruisers. The officers submitted daily logs indicating that they were performing routine patrol duties during the periods in question, according to an Allegheny Township news release issued Thursday at the supervisors’ meeting.

At the Jan. 4 hearing, Robert Salimbene said he stopped at home while on duty to check on his 78-year-old mother, but he claimed that he left when he received police calls.‘‘Neither officer denied spending on-duty time at home but argued that it was necessary to care for a family member,” the release states. “While this may or may not be true, we all face challenges in our private lives that must be balanced with the obligations of our professional lives. The board of supervisors appreciates the past service of both officers but must take this action in order to maintain respect and confidence in the operation of the Allegheny Township Police Department,” the news release states.

The township hopes to hire two new officers. The township has four full-time and three part-time police officers. ‘‘Down the road, we will definitely need to hire more,” supervisor Donald Fowkes said.