Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Trouble in Troop B

It sure hasn’t been a good couple of months for Troop B of the Pennsylvania State Police. First, Trooper Ed Joyner gets ensnared in the whole Ben Roethlisberger mess, and now another trooper, Daniel Freeman, has been arrested on charges he tried to hire a suspected drug dealer to torch his girlfriend’s home. Freeman, who has been suspended for the past few months, certainly has a presumption of innocence. It's up to a court to decide whether he’s guilty of the arson-related charges. But this won’t be Freeman’s first time facing a judge from the wrong side of the bench. He was charged with DUI after running his vehicle into two parked cars on Route 40 in North Bethlehem Township in June 2008. His blood-alcohol content was double the legal limit. My question is this: Why was Freeman not immediately booted from the state police force? Shouldn’t people who are sworn to uphold the law be held to a higher standard than the average citizen? I'm a reasonable person. If someone gets pulled over and blows a .08 on the Breathalyzer, that's a mistake, and it probably can be forgiven, once. But when you're at twice the legal limit, you know damn well that you're too drunk to be behind the wheel. And then there's Joyner, who was working a side job providing security for Roethlisberger. You would think that a state trooper who had his name linked to the despicable behavior that allegedly went on in that bar in Milledgeville, Ga., would run far and fast away from the disgraced athlete and be very, very thankful that he was not fired for bringing disrepute to the force. But not Joyner. The state police rescinded the approval for him to work for Roethlisberger, and Joyner appealed the decision. That's just unreal. He's lucky the state police can't fire someone solely on the grounds of being dumb and/or arrogant. I guess Joyner figures that no matter what happens, his union will help him come out on top, and based on past history with unions and grievance proceedings, he may be right. The real shame of all this is that the image of many fine state troopers is taking an unfair beating in the court of public opinion. They deserve better.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the local TV stations ran a piece tonight on the security guard duty for Big Ben. The Council is asking for time to read through the 600 (700?) pages of documents. The off-duty trooper's name was mentioned in more than 100 of the pages. Citizens are asking why is he still on the force.

My question: So what? Is the officer doing his duty while working for the local police force? Does he meet the qualifications for being in the job?

He took the security detail as an off-duty job. While many may disagree with his advice to Big Ben regarding certain behaviors, why is this of concern to the local Council? During the entire TV piece, nobody suggested the officer was negligent in doing his tasks as a police officer.

What he does on his off-duty time is his business. How is this different than a school teacher working at the local strip club evenings, or on week ends? Is it any business how well, or not well, the man does on this body guard duty? Why does Council have a say in this matter? What has he violated, other than good judgment while off duty? Many of us would be out of a job if our employer started asking questions about sound judgment while off the clock.

This is a witch hunt with no goal in sight, other than to "take action."

May 26, 2010 at 10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taking the security job was OK. His questionable judgment while on that job naturally begs the question about his judgment on his "real job." If he lets a girl be taken to a restroom by any man, not just a famous QB, then blocks people from going back to check on her, I don't want him "Enforcing" the law on duty.

May 28, 2010 at 9:23 PM  

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