A Watertown Police officer has been suspended by the POST Commission for accusations that he was charged with a felony.
The Watertown Police Department referred questions to City Manager George Proakis, who confirmed that officer Kevin Rooney has been suspended during the POST Commission process.
“Regarding this specific situation, Officer Rooney is on an unpaid administrative leave status. But, due to this being a personnel issue, that is all I can share at this time,” Proakis said.
Proakis did not go into details about the reason for the suspension, but added the following statement.
“It is my expectation that the actions of every one of our law enforcement officers, both on and off duty, consistently reflect positively on the Police Department and the Watertown community as a whole. I support the new POST certification process, as it reinforces the importance of the role of a police officer as a community-focused professional with the highest of standards,” Proakis said. “In general, the men and women of the Watertown Police Department exhibit this professionalism each day. But, when there are incidents that are inconsistent with this professional expectation, the City takes them very seriously and addresses the relevant complaints accordingly.”
The suspension was one of 15 across Massachusetts prompted by accusations the officer was charged with a felony, according to a statement by Enrique Zuniga, the POST Commission’s executive director, in a report by NBC 10 Boston.
“POST will suspend the certification of an officer who is arrested, charged or indicted of a felony and will revoke the certification of an officer who is convicted of a felony. The list of suspended officers will be updated periodically as these cases evolve and/or get resolved,” Zuniga said in a statement.
The State’s Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission was created as part of police reform law of 2020.
See the NBC 10 Boston report by clicking here.
Can someone chime in and explain how a Watertown Police officer getting charged with a felony is a “personal issue” ? The details of that should be made public to the citizens he was sworn to protect.
My only hope is this “personal issue” doesn’t end up costing Watertown taxpayers another $7m dollars.
It is a personnel issue, not a personal issue.
Thank you for catching that. Despite my horrible reading comprehension, I still want any info on what felony a Watertown PD officer was charged with the resulted in him getting suspended . I think this lack of transparency is completely unacceptable
What 7 million dollars?
correction, $4 million dollars. https://www.wgbh.org/news/local-news/2022/11/11/watertown-attorney-doubles-down-after-jury-awards-detective-4m-in-gender-discrimination-lawsuit
With legal costs it amounts to 7 million. The citizens of Watertown should not be responsible for this.
where do you think the $7m is going to come from ? They are Watertown employees so of course the town is on the hook to pay. It is the communities job to do a better job to hold our town employees to a higher standard and catch these kinds of situations soon to minimize the risk of future lawsuits.
Each week the police department provides the names of people in town who have been arrested for DUI, stealing from Target, being drunk and disorderly, among other crimes. And those names are subsequently published so we know what’s going on in town. When a town employee, paid by taxpayer dollars, is arrested for a felony it is fair to expect that the name and crime will also be made public. What is Mr. Rooney alleged to have done?
The City is not releasing info on what the alleged charges are.
I understand that, Charlie. I’m asking why. (And while I understand the difference between “charged” and “arrested”, I wish the city would be more transparent when it involves a public official and a felony.)
Almost all the other cops had their charges published. But Officer Rooney’s crime was not reported. Not just by the town, but by POST. Dunno why.
It is pretty hard to argue with Mr. LoDico’s point. Treatment of all those accused of a crime should be equal.
Police officers should not be entitled to protections that are unavailable to the general public.
He was charged with 2 counts of rape and one count of assault and battery . Author should update this article with the addition case info ASAP.
select Superior Court, then Middlesex Superior Court and then there will be the opportunity to enter a case #, 2281CR00071
Well to me the Post Commision is doing what it was intended for, when they get through with their findings more would be revealed. So for those that cannot wait and need to know now, man up and go ask him.