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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Should a Policeman or Fireman With a PFA Be Required to Notify His Boss??

Let's say you're separated from your husband. He's already got a drinking problem. Now, he begins texting you 200 times a day, leaving vile messages. Let's say he kicks in your door, and throws something at you, drawing blood. Let's say he throws you around a bit and knocks you unconscious, forcing you to go to the hospital for stitches. Let's say he also has an arsenal of firearms, including four shotguns.

Would you want a person just like him responding when you call emergency personnel to complain?

That's why I think any police officer, fireman or other emergency responder should be required, as a condition of continued employment, to report PFAs that have been filed against them.

At this time last year, a local firefighter was engaged in the very kind of abuse I've just described. A PFA was sought and obtained. No article appeared in any newspaper. So far as I can ascertain, no disciplinary action was instituted. Because this is a year old and the PFA has now expired, I'll keep his name and the municipality where he works to myself, at least for now.

But I wonder whether local municipalities have policies concerning this kind of behavior. I have asked a few, and am waiting for some answers.

What do you think?

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

boys swill be boys

Laura Degalarce said...

it's a union frat party - cover each other's ass

Laura Degalarce said...

it's a union frat party - cover each other's ass

Anonymous said...

PFAs are personal domestic problems. If it arises at work thats one thing. If it arises at home thats another thing. I understand cops have to surrender their service weapon if a PFA is lodged against them.

Work is work and personal is personal. A persons private life shouldnt be subject to scrutiny until it has a negative effect on actual work performance.

Because criminal background checks are so prevalent as a prerequisite to employment, many people with a PFA will be turned down for a job. No need to expand this discriminatory practice to those already employed.

Trish

Anonymous said...

your private life should remain private , to often pfa's aren't true , i've seen it happen a time or two , if a person has assulted another he or she would be crimanaly charged then there employer should be notified.

Anonymous said...

I have to partially agree with Anon 8:32. Working in the legal field, I see many times when PFAs are granted when the allegations in them are just that...allegations. HOWEVER, I also think that if they are more than allegations, ESPECIALLY if they include violence/intimidation/harassment of another person, it should DEFINITELY be mandatory to report it to their superiors AND to have them temporarily taken off duty or put on desk duty until things are sorted out. I've already had FAR too many encounters with super-macho, over-aggressive, taunting and purposefully (and wrongfully) intimidating police officers to NOT think that if there is PROOF that one tends to be that kind of person, they should NOT be allowed to be the ones policing the public.

Think if a police officer who was found in his home with his unconscious wife and blood on his hands (literally). She files a PFA. He continues serving like nothing happened. A month or two later, he is called to the scene of a domestic dispute. Since he thinks that there's nothing wrong with hitting a woman, or even thinks it NECESSARY in some cases to hit or abuse them, what makes you think he won't side with the man at the scene, at let him get away with it? You may say police officers keep their personal lives out of their jobs, but we all know that to be unfortunately not true in MOST cases. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of good, decent, nice, friendly, hard-working and most of all EFFECTIVE police officers out there, but they're people just like everyone else. But the ones that do have unresolved emotional issue not only are a menace to law-abiding citizens everywhere, but a danger to themselves and others.

I had to trim this still-long post, but I feel the wide ranging implications of something like this are important, and honestly don't think Bernie said ENOUGH about the possible negative effects of letting these public servants continue to serve, without getting them help for the underlying issues that are causing their personal problems.

Then again, I guess sometimes in the "news business" when it comes to horrible things you DON'T want to give examples...it lets the reader come up with their own, and as we all know our imaginations can think up much worse things than any writer or blogger can.

-Anonymous D

Bernie O'Hare said...

Unfortunately, I can provide an example, and would do so, but it is more than one year old. There was no news account, and I have no idea whether this person reported himself. I asked the municipality what their policy as on this issue, and was told to file a RTKL request.

Anonymous said...

I had an unfortunate feeling you likely had a good (read: BAD) example...hence mentioning the "journalistic tactic" possibility at the end. But more directly, do you plan on filing the Right to Know request to try to find out? I'm assuming IF you do you would likely share any pertinent info you got back, hence my asking.

My curiosity has certainly been piqued, that's for sure. Even just which municipality, though I know you likely won't mention it without the proof to back up the allegations...curious even if it was a big/small area. Because I've had some really bad experiences with some not-too-nice Lehigh Township police officers (which is really sad considering that Schuler is now police chief; I knew him when I was young and he was such a nice man and police officer at the time), and hear many complaints about issues in the smaller precincts that exist in the more "rural areas" of the county.

But I've also heard some HORRENDOUS stories about Easton PD, so I guess even knowing the size wouldn't help. So I'll stop rambling and just reiterate that I'd be very interested in knowing if you plan to pursue the information and (if obtained) share it with us. I don't see why you wouldn't, but you never know, right?

-D

Bernie O'Hare said...

I wanted to know what one municipality's policy is concerning PFAs among public safety employees. I called yesterday, and was today told to file a RTKL request. I don't know why that is necessary bc I am not seeking information about specific individuals. I suspect the RTKL is being used to slow me down, not help me. But I will file and will share what I learn.

Anonymous said...

I few years ago I worked with a woman that was very proud that she baited her estranged partner into a PFA. They had a child and when he would call to arrange to see the child she would speak briefly before making an excuse that he should call her back in 15 minutes, then she wouldn't answer until he called a few times, after finally answering she would repeat the process. The poor sap fell for her trick and she took her phone records in and got a PFA. I did not know the man in this case but it seemed he just wanted to see his kid. She was quite proud of herself and bragged about her actions to her coworkers. While I understand that judges tend to error on the side of caution in issuing PFAs many times it is used as tool by a manipulative party in a domestic disagreement or custody battle. I would be hesitiant to support barring a public safety employee from working unless there was adequate proof of a threat of violence.

Anonymous said...

I actually believe that PFAs should be removed from the penal code. They are family issues. Let assault be handled as an assault. We have laws on the books for those who commit violence against others. PFAs are useless.

If your home/family situation is a threat to your personal safety, then pack up and leave

Trish

Anonymous said...

"Would you want a person just like him responding when you call emergency personnel to complain?"

So when your house is burning down, or being robbed, call the church, and not those trained to handle the situation. Better yet conduct a background check to be sure they are the ones you want saving your ass!!

It is most Police Dept. policy that the officer must hand over his weapon if served with a PFA, not sure about other services.

Why stop at just those jobs, would you want an attorny with a PFA, or a Dr....School Teacher....Councilman....and I could go on and on.

Anonymous said...

Take it from someone who worked in the PFA system.....PFA's serve a good useful purpose but are abused continuously. A PFA is issued automaticly and is brought to the Court for a hearing ASAP. In some instances, it is the only recourse someone may have to assure peace. There is no logical answer to the charge of PFA's being filed against a spouse by a person trying to create trouble unfairly to the other person. It happens unfortunately. You need the PFA process even if it isn't 100% fair.

Bernie O'Hare said...

As someone who has worked in the system, do you think that the employer of a fireman, policeman or emergency respondenkrvshould be notified?

Zorn said...

screw the union puke cops/firemen. they hide behind their badges and the worthless scared pols support them as long as they get monetary contributions. all pols are sluts. their legs and bank accounts are wide open - especially the elected teachers

Union Puke said...

"screw the union puke cops/firemen."

Remember that next time you or one of your family are in danger, your house is on fire, or you get in an accident. Don't call the "union puke cops/firemen. Handle it yourself.

Anonymous said...

He has already rejected "union puke" teachers by just being ignorant. He is trying to do his part.

Anonymous said...

1:27 pm -

Hopefully, you took that account to the court? That would have been the right thing to do.

Zorn, his articulation notwithstanding, has it right. Police departments have become as wasteful and self-serving as other government entities. The are union first, do the job second. Sure, you will find exceptions to the rule, just as you will in education and the post office and other public sector employment. But, they have all jumped the shark.

Union Puke -

I've had the need, on several occasions, to seek help from local yocals from different jurisdictions in Northampton County and elsewhere. Without exception, my experience has been to hear a lot of self-promoting, arrogant blather by a dumbass who knew little about the law he was being asked to enforce. In the end, they had little interest in providing assistance. We'll look into it, never to be heard from again. Honestly, it was disturbing to see these clowns in possession of a firearm.

A dumbass with a badge and a gun is just a much more dangerous dumbass.

I'll take my chances on my own next time as far as local cops go.

Anonymous said...

What is a PFA?

Bernie O'Hare said...

PFA is protection from abuse, an order to protect abused people from domestic violence.

Anonymous said...

As one who had the protection of a PFA years ago, I am grateful such a service is provided, and I was protected from my abuser. His weapons were removed and held by the sheriffs office. I didn't care if the presenting officer was union, or non union - he did his job. That he was union, only could be a plus. Now, I do know there are people (both sexes) that have abused the judicial system and filed PFA's using untrue allegations. That could be - retaliation for one being filed against that person initially, unfair custoday battles, jealousy, or attemps to soil one's character publically. I have also heard of a city employee (won't say which branch) that had a spouse who bothered the other spouse relentlessly but was rebuffed. In turn, the harrassing spouse file a nonsensical PFA that cost the spouse money, time away from the job - protecting us, and publically embarrassed him because the spouse didn't hide that she did it. Furthermore, the filing spouse shows up where he is, calls him, texts him, and acts publically like she is a sweetheart. The man who has the PFA filed against him is a mild-mannered person who respects the law, his job responsibilities, and because he does take the law seriously (not like the filing spouse) has lost self-esteem and perceives the community as hating him. This is not true, we all saw the truth long before she filed. I hope he holds his head high and knows that his friends do not believe such nonsense and are and will be there for him. I know this is long, yet I believe it is necessary to say. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

What do I think?

Those of us who know the people involved know the truth and who is REALLY GUILTY. I KNOW he never kicked in her door, threw her around or left vile messages. I also know she violated her own PFA against him by continuing to send him text messages and goes out of her way to show up where she knows he will be and hugs and kisses him.

Just because a PFA has been filed does not mean that the man is GUILTY. Women who file false accusations are hurting the cause of women who have been battered, abused and often killed by their spouses. And YES, I was in an abusive relationship and used the courts to get away. I have no respect for the woman who made the false accusations.

And Bernie, you need to get all of the details before you make accusations as well--"At this time last year, a local firefighter was engaged in the very kind of abuse I've just described."

Bernie O'Hare said...

At this time last year, a local firefighter was engaged in the very abuse I described. I can say that because the firefighter in question had every opportunity to go to court and present his side of the case, but chose not to do so. Now you do it here, and of course, anonymously like the cowardly little weasel you are.

A few questions: (1) Was this firefighter's superiors ever notified?; How'd you keep it out of the papers?: and (3) Did the firefighter do something about his drinking problem?

I know the firefighter in question. I've seen him at some political events. I know and have been told he is one of the trolls who infest this blog, and many of his comments are posted late at night, after he apparently has had a few.

Anonymous said...

He did go to court,

Bernie O'Hare said...

No, he did not. I checked the record. Twice. The Court Order itself states he FAILED to appear at the final hearing and provide his supposed version of the facts.

You have not answered my questions. It is likely his employer had no idea about this. It is equally likely that this "firefighter" has refused to seek help for his drinking problem. Instead, he appears to be spinning tales that, of course, smear the woman he abused.

Now am I supposed to let this troll continue on his merry way? Answer my three questions. I want a name, too. Give me a good reason for not outing this little prick. A very good reason.

Anonymous said...

Why would you want to "out" anyone? Besides, the PFA order has expired. Egg on your face if he pulls his text mesg history. I've witnessed her showing up everywhere he goes. She opened up this pandora's box yet he is the one that is accused. aye aye aye

If it IS personal between you and the accused, hiding behing your computer is wrong. Remember, sticks and stones?

Anonymous said...

Did the spouse of the firefighter ever do anything about her drinking problem? or her anger management problem for that matter?

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more!!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I've asked for answers to three simple questions. I am waiting. So far, I have received one lie and slurs at this guy's ex wife. That does not exactly inspire me to believe this little weasel has learned a damn thing. If I do not get honest and signed answers by the end of this weekend, I will report this PFA to his employer myself. I will also likely publicly identify the little troll in question. Then Treisner can call a third woman a bitch.

Anonymous said...

you're the troll.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Time is slipping away.

Anonymous said...

You are going to do what you want to do anyway. You thrive on hurting people, (which is why my name is withheld). You have no conscience, and must have horrible Karma.

The PFA is NOT a conviction of a crime or PROOF of abuse, so it makes no difference whether he reported it to his employer. It is only a precautionary measure. Also, his spouse should be happy he never filed assault charges against her. I told him numerous times to file charges and his own PFA against her. But, because he just wanted to be left alone by her he refused.

The firefighter in question is friends with some very strong minded feminist who would not tolerate his abuse of women. If we thought for one minute that the allegations were true that he abused his spouse he would have to deal with us. And I'm sure he doesn't want to do THAT.

So, Bernie, play your games and continue the attack on a brave public servant who runs into burning buildings to save lives. I just wonder if you would run your fat ass into a burning building?!?!?!? I sure wouldn't want to be one who was depending on you to save my life.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tic Toc.

Union Puke said...

Why delete the post? Hit a nerve. Truth hurts I know.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Time's up!

Anonymous said...

Time is up for what? As I said before, but you deleted.........leave it to a disbarred drunk to "out" someone. You are one of the least reliable people in America, so you better come with the FACTS, and not hearsay.

You are a validated disbarred attorney, there are documents to prove it. Think carefully before you put someone out there, be sure to have your proverbial "ducks in a row."

After all you wouldn't want to ask Angle for the money to fight a slander suit.

Lets cut the shit and get on with this, shall we?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Time's up for the answer to my questions. Now it's time for me to do what I do. And Holy Moly, there just happens to be a file that backs me up 100%. I will make sure that is sent to the appropriate officials. I had no interest in pursuing this until you came on and tried to blame the ex for getting a concussion.

Anonymous said...

So I assume charges were filed in this case?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Still talking about it, aren't you? Don't worry. An appropriate action is currently in the works.

Anonymous said...

My point is if no charges were filed, the courts didn't think it required it, or she dropped the charges. It is a non issue if no charges were filed.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You can make that argument when your employer decides to commence disciplinary actions.

Anonymous said...

Nope, no charges were filed. The PFA has expired. The spouse only had phone records that showed text messages were sent, (hers and his) but not the actual messages. The messages that were sent were concerning their divorce proceedings, no threats were made.

Anonymous said...

And what is the Just Cause for the disciplinary action?

keepnitreal said...

PFA's are civil actions and only become quasi criminal matters if there is a violation of the order. It may interest some to know that "domestic disturbances" have the highest danger risks for police officers. In the last 6 months there have been about 4 domestic violence homicides in the Lehigh Valley. The process of filing of a PFA is abused, usually by attorney's that are trying to get an advantage for future proceedings. The hearing on whether or not to grant the final order is held about 10 days later. At that time, the defendant has the right to present their version of the facts and whatever evidence they may have to discredit the plantiff. As to notifying the police department in most municpalities the sherriff's dept serves the temporary order on the defendant, and the police department were the plantiff resides receives a copy. Having a PFA filed/entered against you does not show up in a criminal background check. It's a civil action; however, if there is a violation of an order that is called an indirect criminal contempt which may ( but hardly ever) carry jail time. Domestic Violence is not a personal problem is a societal cancer that affects everyone not just the specific parties involved. Just look at the Michael Ballard case and how many lives were lost and changed from that tragedy.

Truth Hurts said...

WOW Bernie, just read your history (I'm not from the Valley and never gave a hoot)... you've got a lot of nerve calling someone else a Troll.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Troll. Have you received your notice of disciplinary proceedings yet? I understand Callahan went wild when he found out.

Union Puke said...

All bark no bite, I was waiting for the "big" release of the names and details, and nothing. I guess you are not as informed as you thought. The only facts I have gotten on here are in direct conflict to your and I use the term loosely "report"

Truth Hurts said...

I'm with you Union Puke!

Anonymous said...

1. why discuss old news
2. why rat out to him that the pfa is expired?
do you hate women that much to put them in danger?????

Anonymous said...

Bernie, How dare you put someone at risk?????? Expect a pfa on you too now

Anonymous said...

Wow, spoken like a true idiot, the next time you have a thought Bernie, you should really just let it go and not post your verbal diarrhea for other inbreds to read and fuel fire. I can only hope that someone would stalk you night and day, threaten you and abuse you like those you speak of, but then again you hide behind your blog like a woman anyway, so I'm sure no one would waste their time chasing a waste of space like you. They should really never let people like you from the shallow end of the gene pool have a blog. I hope that you also know that in the event something happens in this case or any PFA case, that I will be sure to save your blog and as a concerned citizen make sure that you are charged as an accomplice.

Anonymous said...

And as for the "brave" public servant in this case, I would challenge him to step up and actually be a man enough to own up to his actions, instead of hiding them in a bottle and blaming others for them. I know who you are, you are an ABUSER OF WOMEN, and you are the worst type of cowardly piece of pig excrement there is. You bring nothing but shame to the brotherhood of which you are a part of...shame your brothers aren't "brave" enough to rat out your scummy ass...

Bernie O'Hare said...

He won't do that, just like he won't sign his name to the anonymous comments he posts here. Like most women abusers, he is a coward.

Anonymous said...

He is not the anonymous poster, in fact he hasn't posted anything about this subject. This is someone who knows both of the people and knows the truth of the whole matter.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sure, wife beater.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I first posted this on 7/14. On 7/26, 12 days later, the anonymous comments keep coming But it's not the wife beater.

Bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Since you have posted nothing as far as evidence of any assault, I can only conclude that you are full of shit.

As I said before, all bark, no bite!!

Truth Hurts/Anonymous said...

Nope, not the person who had the PFA (and definitely not a wife beater, because I, and the other women who know the couple involved would have beat his butt if he WAS a woman beater.)

Truth Hurts said...

Also, no disciplinary action.