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Discussion Starter #1
Chief's training waiver denied

Thursday, June 24, 2004
By KIM RING
[email protected]

BRIMFIELD - The town's police chief will have to attend training if he wants to have police powers in Massachusetts, selectmen have learned.
Police Chief Charles T. Kuss, who has for months been trying to obtain the waiver that would allow him police powers, is not eligible for the exemption because his post is part time, Selectmen Chairman Carol Delnegro confirmed yesterday.
"At this point, he's got to do it," Delnegro said of the training. "We're very positive ... one of these days we'll have him as a fully empowered police chief."
The state's Municipal Police Training Committee, which is charged with issuing the exemptions, recently asked the town to verify Kuss's status, the committee's executive Director Dennis W. Pinkham said yesterday.
Delnegro said she had spoken with a representative from the committee, who told her that the exemptions can only be issued for full-time police officers.
The news came two days after selectmen voted 2-1 to appoint Kuss to a second term. The motion was made to make the appointment pending Kuss obtaining his exemption, but selectmen did not place the chief on probation, as they did when he was initially appointed. The original probation had been extended twice since his Aug. 4, 2003, appointment because of the lack of an exemption, the most recent period ending June 3.
While Delnegro recommended a probationary period, Selectman Diane M. Panaccione said she wanted Kuss removed from his post until he has full police powers. Selectman Robert C. Cheney said he had "no worries" about Kuss' appointment and said the chief has done a fine job.
Kuss has been limited to performing administrative duties, though.
 

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I might be reading this wrong, but the Training Council denied a waiver because its a part time position. If I read the details on this correctly the Chief in question had retired from a full time job in florida from which he had a full time academy? I know Brimfield has some major Union issues going on and I wish all the guys good luck with that, but it sounds to me like the town bosses didnt do their homework on this. If I am not mistaken for a part time chiefs job the reserve intermittent is only thing required for training? now that the Chief is off probation seems like the town is stuck with a Police Chief who cant make an arrest or even write a citation. I am sure the member of the PD that got screwed over have some opinions on this.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Part-time status gets in chief's way
James F. Russell
CORRESPONDENT

BRIMFIELD- The latest hurdle confronting Police Chief Charles T. Kuss in his pursuit of full police powers is not entirely his or the town's fault, according to the state agency that would grant him the legal authority to make an arrest in town.

The chief expected the state would grant him an exemption from the mandatory 800 hours of police academy required for full-time municipal police officers, and bequeath him the legal authority to make an arrest when the town and Chief Kuss submitted paperwork to the Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee last month.

But something was amiss: Chief Kuss works part time, 10 hours per week, and exemptions only cover full-timers, MPTC Executive Director Dennis W. Pinkham said yesterday.

This means Chief Kuss needs to pass a 120-hour police training program "for reserve and intermittent officers," unless the town opts to make Chief Kuss full time, Mr. Pinkham said. The chief was hired last Aug. 4, but cannot make an arrest because he lacks the requisite state requirements.

The snafu came to light "a few days ago," but not until after the MPTC board had met June 16 to consider the chief's credentials, according to Mr. Pinkham. Instead of telling the chief it could not act on the exemption request, the board said it would review his credentials, saying it needed more time to scrutinize Chief Kuss' education and training. The chief retired from the Boynton Beach, Fla., police department in 2001 with the rank of senior sergeant after a 20-year career.

Asked why Chief Kuss was not told about the error when the paperwork was submitted in May, Mr. Pinkham said "there is shared blame" on the part of Brimfield and MPTC. The lack of a quorum at the May meeting prevented the Training Committee from transacting official business, he said.

Mr. Pinkham said state law - Section 41, Chapter 96B - and MPTC directives spell out the requirements for full-time and part-time requests. The law citation refers to "reserve or intermittent police officer" instead of part time, although full time is referenced in the statute.

Mr. Pinkham also said that the form used by MPTC "does not have a check box asking" if an individual is a full-time or part-time officer.

"We intend to include that question" on a new form, he said. Mr. Pinkham did not say when an updated form would be available. He also said the MPTC Web site would be updated to "make clear" the requirements for part-time and full-time officers. The changes will make the process "more user-friendly," he said.

Mr. Pinkham said the 120-hour course Chief Kuss would need to complete to meet state requirements, as a part-time chief, is not usually offered in the summer.

Chief Kuss' lack of police powers, and the delays obtaining certification, have created friction on the Brimfield Board of Selectmen. Although selectmen praise the work he has done, board member Diane M. Pannacione thinks the chief should leave the police force and not come back until he obtains the needed credentials.

When selectmen appointed the chief last year, a probationary period was established with the expectation that Chief Kuss would gain the legal authority to exercise police powers at the municipal level. A divided Board of Selectmen abolished the probationary status on Monday, despite Chief Kuss not having obtained state certification to make an arrest.

Selectman Robert C. Cheney in September acknowledged the chief's job specifications require full police powers, while emphasizing that the primary role is administrative. Former Police Chief John D. Jovan says the job requires a chief able to make arrests because Brimfield is a small town with a five-person police department.
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For an administrative chief, he is in full uniform, loaded firearm, drives a marked cruiser, conducts traffic details, etc. (doesn't sound too administrative to me). :roll:

WHAT A CIRCUS! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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You have to love government bureaucracy! If you think that "government does it best", vote for John Kerry! :shock:
 

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Working in a small town myself, I can say that a Small town Chief that sits behind a desk all the time would make a BAD chief. The Chief is still a much needed "Patrolman" in small towns. It's also good for morale to have the Chief out and about patrolling and backing us up. My Chief does (get on the road) and its great!! Makes traffic stops and backs up Officers as well as answers calls... a true Cop who just happens to be Chief.
 

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O.K.

So why don't the selectmen just appoint him as a "Reserve or P.I."? I think this would be the quick and timely fix. DUH!!!!?
 

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Do they offer Waivers for R/I Academy? In not, thats the issue... He'll have to attend the R/I
 

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Discussion Starter #10
No waivers for R/I academy. He must at least attend the R/I academy in order to get police powers. Then again, it is Brimfield and I'm sure the Selectmen will grant him powers on their almighty authority that they believe they have! :roll:
 

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What a circus!! So what happens when the Chief is "not patrolling" in his cruiser and sees any sort of crime? From what it sounds like, he has no police powers whatsoever, so any sort of action would get tossed out.

-Mike
 

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Working in a small town myself, I can say that a Small town Chief that sits behind a desk all the time would make a BAD chief. The Chief is still a much needed "Patrolman" in small towns. It's also good for morale to have the Chief out and about patrolling and backing us up. My Chief does (get on the road) and its great!! Makes traffic stops and backs up Officers as well as answers calls... a true Cop who just happens to be Chief.

I wish I were as lucky to have a chief like that
 
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