A KPD investigation discovered the lieutenant violated harassment insurance policies

A KPD investigation discovered the lieutenant violated harassment insurance policies

Dec. 3—Town of Keene demoted a veteran police officer from a supervisory function earlier this yr after an inner investigation discovered he violated the division’s sexual harassment and harassment insurance policies, in line with paperwork obtained by the Sentinel by means of a public data request.

Jason Brief, who spent greater than 23 years with the Keene Police Division, was fired after the investigation discovered he created a hostile work atmosphere and made inappropriate feedback towards feminine workers, amongst different issues, metropolis data turned over late final yr. month present

The investigation concluded that Brief fell under minimal efficiency requirements for officer security, oversight of crucial incidents and relationships with residents, suspects and subordinates.

“Lieutenant Brief’s actions, conduct, and substandard management abilities are unacceptable at any degree on this division,” the interior investigation summarized.

Previous to his Could 15 resignation, Brief had an annual base wage of $95,846, or about $46 an hour, as a lieutenant commander within the Bureau of Felony Investigation, in line with info offered by the town’s human sources division. As a sergeant, he now earns $83,346 yearly, or about $40 an hour, the HR division stated.

Like different metropolis workers, his wage is paid by means of Keene’s municipal price range, which is essentially raised from tax {dollars}.

Brief was promoted to lieutenant on Aug. 16, 2015, and served as one among three lieutenants supervising patrol officers till fall 2018, when he grew to become appearing lieutenant of the Bureau of Felony Investigation, in line with Keene Police Chief Steven Stewart.

Stewart, who led inner investigations as a captain earlier than being promoted to chief in September, stated the police prosecutor Brief now holds as a sergeant who handles circumstances for misdemeanor and infraction-level circumstances and critiques and screens circumstances towards juveniles.

Brief didn’t return cellphone or electronic mail requests for remark made late final week. Former Police Chief Steven Russo, who retired Sept. 1, deferred inquiries to Stewart, who changed him.

When pointed to the town’s sexual harassment coverage, which states that any violation will lead to “applicable self-discipline, as much as and together with fast termination,” Stewart stated he thought the demotion was justified. Such a demotion is exceptionally uncommon and serves as a lesson for everybody, he stated.

“Based mostly on the totality of the scenario and the knowledge we thought of, we felt this was an applicable advice to the town supervisor,” Stewart stated.

Inner investigation

On Dec. 22, 2021, the Keene Police Officers Affiliation emailed a 15-page report back to the division’s command employees expressing considerations about Brief’s conduct and the interior investigation that led to his resignation, in line with paperwork offered by the town.

“Lt. Brief has routinely displayed offended/offended conduct towards members of the KPOA, typically displaying an in any other case optimistic perspective towards work, upsetting and antagonizing members, in addition to being unnecessarily impolite and discourteous,” the town’s cops union states in a report.

KPOA President Donald Lundin didn’t return cellphone and electronic mail requests for remark made final week. In line with Metropolis Supervisor Elizabeth Dragon, Brief Keene is a member of a separate union of police supervisors.

Stewart’s investigation discovered no proof to assist all of KPOA’s allegations, however Brief violated division insurance policies on sexual harassment, harassment and supervisory efficiency requirements, the investigation abstract stated.

Allegations have been redacted from the doc after the investigation was discovered to be “unsustainable,” in line with the town’s response to The Sentinel’s public data request. Town additionally revised info relating to police investigative methods and the names of third events and confidential informants.

At one level in a doc outlining an interview with Brief, Stewart described the scenario ensuing from Brief’s actions as an “ineffective catastrophe”.

On Dec. 29, 2021, the division suspended all energetic drug investigations pending an inner investigation, in line with the paperwork. Stewart stated the moratorium on these sorts of circumstances, which have prompted probably the most controversy on the Bureau of Felony Investigation, was in impact till the investigation was accomplished in April.

The KPOA electronic mail stated union members had hassle courting again a couple of years, together with when he was a patrol supervisor, however these officers didn’t report incidents involving him as a result of he was a superior they usually feared retaliation.

The union’s report raised considerations about Brief’s interactions with the general public, a number of verbal altercations it stated he had with employees, sexual feedback it stated he made about feminine officers and his therapy of confidential informants.

“Lt. Brief’s relationship with the general public is horrible,” the report stated “She wears [officers’] Safety is in jeopardy as a result of he’s very risky and he escalates each incident.”

In a minimum of two circumstances, ladies within the shorts division tried to guess workers’ bra sizes, the paperwork stated. When requested throughout Stewart’s investigation about these alleged feedback, in line with the paperwork, Brief admitted that she most likely made them and stated, “I had an uncanny means to guess bra sizes after I was in faculty.”

He additionally admitted to utilizing the “c-word” to confer with an worker within the county legal professional’s workplace, in line with the paperwork. (Though Brief now works within the courtroom system as a police prosecutor, Stewart stated that place has restricted contact with county-attorney employees, who concentrate on felony circumstances.)

Brief didn’t deny different situations raised within the KPOA report during which he made feedback of a sexual nature to feminine workers, however stated he didn’t keep in mind them and that in the event that they did happen, it was within the context of a joke, the paperwork stated. In an interview with Stewart that the captain detailed within the doc, Brief stated that such jokes have been attribute of the irony throughout the division.

4 out of 5 workers who labored in Shorts’ bureau stated they felt he created a hostile work atmosphere, in line with a abstract of the interior investigation, as did three workers outdoors his bureau.

In line with the doc, one in 4 workers stated it was not a disturbing job, it was brief. Others described purposefully avoiding strolling into his workplace, not wanting to return to work, contemplating quitting or leaving his bureau and feeling that small sufferer circumstances insisted with out enter that issues can be finished his approach, the paperwork stated. The KPOA report alleged that there have been a number of situations of Brief yelling at workers and stated the police union additionally raised considerations {that a} breakdown in communication inside its bureau undermined officer security.

Brief stated he by no means meant to upset his workers and aimed to assist their careers, in line with the doc, and he felt like brothers and sisters in his bureau who get mad at one another someday however are good the following.

The KPOA report additionally cites a number of situations the place it says Brief grew to become offended at confidential informants, together with one the place an officer thought he would possibly assault the person. Brief, in line with investigative paperwork, admitted to being offended with the informant on this occasion, however stated it was for the CI’s personal profit.

The inner investigation additionally concluded that in a single occasion Brief did not file a report of use of pressure when required, the doc stated. Stewart advised The Sentinel that whereas it was associated to a housebreaking investigation that “wasn’t nicely deliberate,” detectives believed they’d knock on the suspect’s door and have a dialog however the transient felt the suspect must be arrested instantly. The police chief didn’t specify what the pressure was, solely that it was greater than handcuffing somebody. He added that the failure to file the shape “was not a severe violation” and that there was some debate about how enough the usage of pressure was on this case.

different reproaches

Paperwork offered by the town to The Sentinel embody a number of different situations the place Brief Eager confronted reprimands and dismissals throughout his profession with the police division, largely associated to his use of division automobiles.

In 1999, he acquired an official reprimand and was ordered to work a day with out pay after driving a division car throughout the garden of a enterprise, inflicting injury to each property and automobiles by driving a division car, paperwork state.

Then, in 2000, he was suspended with out pay for a day for driving his police automotive previous a number of faculty buses displaying cease lights and exiting a crowded Wheelock Park at a excessive fee of pace whereas being dispatched to a battle, in line with the paperwork.

In 2001, Brief was reprimanded once more and suspended for a day with out pay for disrespecting an officer supervising firearms coaching at a variety, who advised him he had dedicated a security violation, paperwork stated.

And, on April 10, 2004, he totaled a police cruiser when he crashed right into a storage at a condominium property off Base Hill Highway whereas chasing a rushing automotive, in line with paperwork.

NH State Police investigated the crash and located Brief was at fault however didn’t violate any state legal guidelines, paperwork say. Keene police, nonetheless, decided he violated division insurance policies relating to the protected operation of police automobiles and the effectiveness of pursuit, in line with the paperwork.

“The incident mirrored an aggressive policing fashion that compromised private and public security,” then-Police Chief Arthur Walker wrote in a memo on the time. “The direct consequence was a collision that resulted in 1000’s of {dollars} price of property injury, a complete lack of a cruiser, and lots of man-hours through the investigation.”

Walker stated within the memo that in his judgment the incident warranted a one-week suspension however as a result of there was no precedent for such an accident, he really helpful Brief be suspended for someday and attend a defensive driving course.

“The division has nearly no file of taking disciplinary motion towards these chargeable for accidents,” Walker wrote. “It establishes a brand new degree of accountability in that regard.”

Town’s response

Along with his resignation for violating the division’s harassment and sexual harassment insurance policies, Brief was required by the town to take part in sexual harassment and affirmative-workplace coaching, in line with the investigation transient.

He can be evaluated each three months and if he fails to fulfill the requirements set within the coaching, he could also be required to attend additional, be disciplined or fired, the doc stated. Brief has been in good condition to date, Stewart stated.

In line with Stewart, not one of the outcomes of the interior investigation warrant led to Brief’s inclusion within the Exculpatory Proof Schedule and he was not added to the listing. The EES, higher often called the Lori Listing, is a catalog of present and former New Hampshire legislation enforcement officers whose personnel info incorporates probably incriminating proof or proof favorable to a defendant in a felony case. Many officers are included within the listing due to disciplinary motion or potential credibility points.

Requested in regards to the KPOA’s declare that Brief’s conduct was condoned over time and whether or not it was indicative of the tradition of the Keene Police Division, Stewart stated, “We’ve grow to be conscious of some important efficiency considerations and we’ve addressed them.

“I do not suppose it says something in regards to the tradition of the division,” he stated. “It is a private personnel matter that was dropped at our consideration and handled.”

Ryan Spencer might be reached at 352-1234, extension 1412 or [email protected]. Comply with him on Twitter at @rspencerKS

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