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  • Cops fired for 'loafing' on the job, such as watching a movie

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    Florida Sheriff's Deputies Fired For Allegedly 'Loafing' On The Job - Careers Articles


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    Florida Sheriff's Deputies Fired For Allegedly 'Loafing' On The Job

    By David Schepp , Posted May 3rd 2012 @ 11:00AM


    Here's a lesson for government employees: If you're found slacking, not only can it be really embarrassing when taxpayers find out, it may land you in the unemployment line.

    At least that's what happened in a Florida case involving six lawmen in the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office; their names were published in the media after they allegedly were discovered "idling and loafing" for hours while on the job, West Palm Beach TV station WPTV reports. One admitted watching a movie while on duty.

    Four of the law enforcement officers, all in their early 40s, were fired. The investigation purportedly revealed that three deputies each spent hundreds of hours loafing, while a sergeant failed to sufficiently supervise two others and was idle while on duty. Two other officers, also in their 40s, were suspended for up to two days for lesser offenses.

    The extent to which, according to the reports, they went in order to goof off is rather astonishing. A six-month investigation by the department showed that some of the officers intentionally hid from supervisors, concealed their police cars, disconnected their GPS units and left assigned areas.

    More egregiously, however, the officers were accused of failing to provide law enforcement for hours at a time, though they did respond to calls if dispatched, according to an account of the investigation provided by Sheriff Bob Gualtieri (pictured above).

    By failing to perform their duties, Gualtieri said, the loafing sheriff's deputies cost taxpayers nearly $25,000 during the six months -- July 1 through Dec. 31 -- that the investigation took place.

    "We believe our findings are a snapshot of what was going on for a longer period of time, Gualtieri said. "This is behavior that will not be tolerated, and they are being held accountable."
    Some Fired Officers Cry Foul

    Responding to the accusations of deputies loafing and idling in their cars, Sgt. Christopher Metro told St. Petersburg TV station WTSP, "Part of being a good deputy on patrol is watching and observing."

    He also claimed that Gualtieri's crackdown was nothing more than an election-year witch hunt. Metro supports Everett Rice, Gualtieri's opponent in an upcoming primary election. That, he added, "doesn't mean I'm not loyal to the sheriff's office." Some of the other fired deputies are also said to support Rice.

    For his part, the Sheriff Gualtieri said there was no truth to the accusation that the firings and suspensions were politically motivated, adding, "It's offensive, actually."

    The following are the names of the terminated deputies and the sergeant, along with a summary of the charges (via the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office):
    Terminated:

    Deputy Kenneth L. Burroughs
    Hired: 10/1/96
    Age: 42
    Idling and loafing during July 1 through Dec. 31 amounted to 172 instances, for a total of 285 hours, or 35 eight-hour workdays of inactivity. At his base pay rate, $27.39 an hour, that amounts to $7,807.11 taxpayers lost.

    Deputy Robert G. Harmer
    Hired: 6/10/90
    Age: 42
    Idling and loafing time totaled 180 instances, amounting to over 251 hours, or 31 eight-hour work days of inactivity on the job. Taxpayers lost $7,853.48, based on the base pay of $31.29 an hour.

    Deputy Samuel Mitchem
    Hired: 5/2/94
    Age: 42
    Idling and loafing time totaled 212 instances, amounting to over 314 hours, or 39 eight-hour work days. Taxpayers lost $9,002.34 based on his base pay of $28.69 an hour.

    Sergeant Christopher W. Metro
    Hire: 1/13/91
    Age: 43
    Failure to supervise squad members (including Burroughs and Mitchem), neglecting supervisory responsibilities, failure to use available technology and other tools to monitor staff activities, leaving his area of assignment and idling, going to personal residence, 10 instances in all of idling of at least one hour each, having knowledge of the deputies' idling and failure to act. Admitted to watching a movie while on duty.
    Suspended:

    Deputy Brian T. Clark
    Hired: 4/27/98
    Age: 40
    Suspended for a day for lack of self-initiated activity, about four instances of idling.

    Robert J. Wojciechowski
    Hired: 12/1/86
    Age: 46
    Two-day suspension for lack of self-initiated activity, failure to have GPS repaired, about four instances of idling.
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    Leaving your assigned area? Hiding from supervisors? Watching a movie?



    Whoa, all major crimes here. Geez. Watching a movie? Try working a business district at 2am in the morning in the middle of winter. Place is a ghost town with tumbleweeds floating around.
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  • #2
    *sigh* I hate how everyone is out to get us. Even the police are out to get the police.
    Making the streets safer, one donut at a time

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    • #3
      Still better than having sex over 100 times on duty and not answering calls.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by LINY View Post
        Still better than having sex over 100 times on duty and not answering calls.


        Wouldn't people notice right away that someone was missing calls continuously?
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        • #5
          Were these guys getting paid salary, or hourly?

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          • #6
            It says they would respond to calls when dispatched, and at 3am in the morning there are no cars to stop......so I don't see the problem here.

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            • #7
              Easy solution. Send the police home at 2am and start the next shift at 7am. That will save the taxpayers a ton of money.

              Right?

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              • #8
                Either we're "too busy making the quota" or "wasting tax-dollars by idling and loafing."

                Just can't win.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by flash40 View Post
                  Either we're "too busy making the quota" or "wasting tax-dollars by idling and loafing."
                  You left out profiling/harassing minorities.
                  Stupidity should be a felony so that they lose the right to vote.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HEDP View Post
                    Wouldn't people notice right away that someone was missing calls continuously?
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                    Not when others would pick them up for him, but that's for another thread.

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                    • #11
                      I wonder how long after everyone starts getting all gung-ho to avoid getting fired themselves until the Sheriff comes down and tells everyone to back off because he's been getting complaints from citizens about overactive policing.

                      Such a vicious cycle.
                      SCHP TCO

                      Freemason

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                      • #12
                        Im hoping theres more to this story. If the guys were intentionally not making their calls thats one thing, but if they were just doing what most people do while working night shift I see no problem. Of course the public will make a buncha comments about this because they are home sleeping in their beds not having to work all night and don't know how it is.
                        "Its not what you know, its what you can prove."-Training Day

                        "Game on, bitches. Whoop whoop, flash the lights, pull it over."

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                        • #13
                          The other stuff wouldn't concern me if this happened in my area as I can imaging there's a lot of idle time during those hours but intentionally hiding from supervisors and turning off GPS is premeditated deceit. Being dishonest is not an attribute I've heard any LEO's here state is a goal of theirs, quite the opposite.
                          The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground." - Thomas Jefferson

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                          • #14
                            How much you wana' bet, if you interviewed any former partner of Sheriff Gualtieri, they would tell you he "loafed", "shut it down", "cooped", or whatever you want to call it at least once while on patrol. Is it the right thing to do? No. But it's reality. As long as you answer the radio, who cares.

                            As for "hiding from supervisors".....yea??? So what??? Unless it's shift change or I've been summoned to the Sgt's office, I spend 12 hours avoiding supervisors. Is it in the manual that I need to hide under the Sgt's desk during the shift?
                            I make my living on Irish welfare.

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                            • #15
                              In my area ,after midnight the only vehicles on the road all have overheads.I also have a mostly rural area where most houses are 100 yards or more off the highway.
                              Sleeping Giant. They're not fat and happy anymore. They are hungry and increasingly angry. That is not a good recipe for a "Puppies and Rainbows America".

                              Comment

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