All posts by Jim Kersten

Chief Gemme Should Resign or Be Removed

The true heroes of our society are the public safety officers who risk their well being to provide us a safer community. Under Chief Gary Gemme’s leadership, the Department has successfully implemented the Community Policing Model, created the Community Impact Division, and built a talented group of superior officers–all while dealing with the constraints of a shrinking budget.

Our respect for police officers and the work they do is based on a sacred trust. We expect that the leaders of our police department hold themselves to the highest police standards–one that the Chief now seems willing to break.

Over the past few years Chief Gemme has eroded the public’s trust with several different actions. First, the coerced confession of a 16 year old girl by two Worcester Police Detectives, uncovered by WBUR reporter David Boeri, is disturbing by itself. The shocking interrogation techniques led to a teenage girl spending nearly three years in jail. Adding to this already unfortunate situation is Chief Gemme’s unwillingness to acknowledge at least the potential of wrong doing by Detectives under his charge.

Unfortunately this incident does not stand alone where poor judgment is concerned. In the case of Officer Mark Rojas, Gemme ignored our public records law, which requires public bodies to respond within 10 working days, by taking almost 8 months to produce requested

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records by a media outlet. When pressure grew, Gemme thumbed his nose at the law by producing a largely blacked out document–forcing the City to spend time and money on needless litigation. Continue reading Chief Gemme Should Resign or Be Removed