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Strange termination


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  • Strange termination

    Tonight I heard what has got to be the strangest reason for terminating a new hire that I've come across.

    An officer that works PT with me was working FT for another agency for a few years. He heard that he was on the layoff list, so he applied and was hired by another department. The new department is a rapidly growing suburb and stays pretty busy. His last department was pretty quiet and specialized, so he was looking forward to the change.

    Tonight he came in to relieve me. I was surprised to see him because he had said he could not work PT while in training at the other department. When I brought it up he told me he was terminated, then told me the story.

    The first night he was with his FTO, she said she got carsick very easily. She went so far as to wear bracelets to prevent it. He thought she was sort of kidding, and ended up dismissing it. But then she had him pull over several times at gas stations and convenience stores because she was getting sick. She began constantly criticizing his driving.


    He tried to ease the mood a bit and start up some conversation. He noticed she had a wedding ring and asked her if she'd been married long. She responded, "Our shift is done in 3 hours. Then you can ask me questions about my personal life." Yikes.

    This sort of treatment went on for a few days. Then his sergeant pulled him aside and said the FTO had complained to the chief that he was purposefully trying to make her carsick. The sergeant said he could handle it two ways: 1) Deny it, in which case the chief would look at is as FTO vs trainee and be most likely to side with the FTO, or 2) Admit he was doing it and probably keep his job with a warning.

    Dilemma time. He honest-to-god was not trying to do any of this. In fact, he was doing everything he could to fit in. But, in the end, he couldn't lie and say he was doing it if he wasn't. He consulted with our chief and his former chief and they both agreed that there was no way he should admit to something he wasn't doing. They also recommended he prepare a resignation letter just in case.

    So he had a meeting with the chief, the lieutenant and the sergeant. They accused him of it and he denied it. The chief then said he would have to likely terminate him. At that point, the officer handed in his resignation and that was that. He lasted 10 days with the department.

    When he told me this I was dumbstruck. I've never heard of such a bizarre turn of events. But it left me thinking -- why was he fired? So, if you've made it this far in my long-winded post, here's the question. Do you think it's likely this FTO really wanted the guy let go because she thought he was trying to make her sick? Or is that just a convenient excuse and there was some other reason he was let go and they just didn't want to come out and admit it?
    Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

  • #2
    He should have had an opportunity to work with another FTO to see if there was a problem. Let her drive, sounds like she is a backseat driver anyways. It would be interesting to see how she handles urgent duty driving and pursuits.

    Something was not right there.

    Vene Vidi Vici


    • #3
      In my humble opinion

      In my humble opinion, there was more going on than this and the department used this weak complaint as a means to an end. I worked for a large agency once that hired many experienced officers but during the FTO program they cut all of the good officers and kept the officer's with no experience. Hmmmmm. It didn't smell right then, this doesn't smell right now. I always wondered why they hired us there if they were just going to look for excuses to get rid of us. Some departments want to mold their recruits from scratch but to keep from lawsuits or unfair labor practice complaints will hire veteran officers, only to discard them before they make it through, so that they can keep the in experienced officers they hired along with them. Not sure but this could be a similar situation. BTW we had NO opportunities to change FTO's either, even though some of the FTO's saw what was going on and requested specifically to get us. I resigned, seeing the writing on the wall, much like your friend. Pass on my congratulations for standing up and doing the right thing. It's not easy when your facing termination to keep your integrity. I know I've been there and I always did the right thing too. Hope this helps.
      Shane - No I didn't die at the end of the movie - and NO I won't come back.


      • #4
        It soundslike there is a much larger problem at hand, and I would have to agree with the other posts. Why would they spend all that time to hire someone and just get rid of them? I would be extremely frustrated. It's a shame that something like that can happen.
        "He who lives without Discipline Dies without Honor"


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