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Police Commissioner William Fitchet Statement RE Discipline for Officers in Melvin Jones III Case

Police Commissioner William Fitchet Statement RE Discipline for Officers in Melvin Jones III Case

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Published by: masslive on Oct 21, 2010
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07/17/2014

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On September 28th 2010 the “Community Police Hearing Board” convened to conduct a Disciplinary Hearing involving the citizen’s

complaint from Melvin Jones who was arrested in a traffic stop in November, 2009. Mr. Jones received injuries during the arrest where Jones was charged with Possession of a Class “B” Substance with Intent to Distribute (Crack Cocaine). That case is still pending in Hampden County Superior Court. The officers involved in that arrest are Lt. John Bobianski, Officer Jeffery Asher, Officer Michael Sedergren and Officer Theodore Truoloio. The complaint against the officers was investigated thoroughly and professionally by the Springfield Police Departments Internal Investigation Unit under the direction of Lt. Larry Brown. The District Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the office of Mayor Domenic Sarno were also apprised of the investigation into the allegations against the four officers. As a result of the investigation the hearing commenced and lasted three days. Numerous witnesses were called to testify. Also introduced into evidence during the hearing was a video recording of the arrest taken by private citizens that were very close by the traffic stop and arrest of Melvin Jones. After the Board heard all the testimony and reviewed all the evidence surrounding the case they gave their written decision and recommendation to my office on Monday, October 18th. I have reviewed their decision very closely and have rendered the following disciplinary action: Lt. John Bobianski – Suspended without pay for 45 days. Upon return to duty Lt. Bobianski will undergo re-training in “Applied Patrol Procedure”. Officer Jeffery Asher – Termination of employment. Officer Michael Sedergren – Suspended without pay for 45 days. Upon return to Duty, Officer Sedergren will undergo retraining in In “Anger Management” and “Applied Patrol Procedure”. Officer Theodore Truoilo - Suspended without pay for 15 days. Upon return to Duty, Officer Truoilo will undergo retraining in “Applied Patrol Procedure”. I would like to thank the “Community Police Hearings Board” for the diligence and the professional manner in which these hearings were conducted. I would also like to commend the Internal Investigation Unit for their fair investigation which was conducted in a very timely manner. The men and women of the Springfield Police Department continue to protect and serve the public in a professional manner. The citizens who live and work in the City of Springfield should have confidence, like I do, in their abilities to keep our city safe. As a result of this investigation, I have formed a “Professional Standards Unit” under the direction of Captain Robert Cheetham. This unit works very close with the Internal Investigation Unit and they review all prisoner injury reports in which the individual in police custody requests medical treatment. The Springfield Police

department will continue to handle all citizen complaints in a professional and timely manner. Mayor Domenic Sarno has put in place the “Community Police Hearings Board” to make sure that all these investigations are thorough, fair and transparent. Commissioner William J. Fitchet Springfield Police Department 130 Pearl Street Springfield, Massachusetts

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