Probe complete; 2 officers leaving force
By Brent Curtis/ Staff Writer | April 30,2012
Two Rutland city police officers who have been on paid administrative leave during an internal investigation will leave the department effective today, Interim Police Chief James Baker announced late Monday night.
Five months after the internal investigation into alleged violations of the department's rules and procedures began, the chief said in a statement that Sgt. John Johnson, a longtime member of the department, will retire today while Officer Earl Frank Post will leave the department.
The chief said that the internal review conducted by former state Public Safety Commissioner Tom Tremblay uncovered “no evidence to support any type of criminal conduct.”
However, the investigation did reveal concerns regarding proper handling of evidence, he said. Baker did not describe what those concerns are.
But the chief did say the department will engage Tremblay for further work — this time an audit of the department's evidence procedures.
“Mayor Christopher Louras, the Rutland City Police Commission and the leadership of the Rutland City Police Department are committed to providing the most professional policing services to the citizens of Rutland. It is the expectation that members of the Rutland City Police Department conduct themselves in a professional manner both on duty and off duty,” Baker wrote.
The nature of the violations Post and Johnson were accused of is unclear, and it's also unknown if the alleged offenses were related.
Both officers worked on the same night shift, with Johnson overseeing Post.
Post's history at the department has included two stints as a canine handler. He has also been involved in a number of controversial incidents, including the 2009 shooting and killing of a German shepherd leashed in a Rutland Town yard where police were tracking a suspect. In 2010, Post's work with police dogs ended after a woman was bitten by his canine during a response to a domestic disturbance on Chaplin Avenue.
Johnson's tenure at the department has been quieter. In recent years he served as a corporal patrolman and then detective, where he predominantly handled drug cases. He was promoted to sergeant in 2010.