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Union Files Complaint Against Chief Who Made Off-Duty Arrest

Union Files Complaint Against Chief Who Made Off-Duty Arrest

The Times-Tribune

April 19, 2011

On that day, Chief Duffy said he was not scheduled to work but decided to check on citizen complaints about possible drug activity in a part of West Scranton.

While driving through the area, he arrested a man who had an outstanding bench warrant issued by Lackawanna County Court. The chief also searched the man and allegedly found he possessed a marijuana joint and drug paraphernalia, leading to the man’s arrest on drug charges.

Sgt. Martin acknowledged that the chief is “morally and legally obligated” to act if he sees a crime happen and to make an arrest if necessary.

But, the union president said the chief, as member of management, should not actively root out crime or randomly patrol neighborhoods while off duty because it violates union agreements that protect rank-and-file officers’ employment. The union is concerned city administrators will have more leverage to lay off police officers because “Chief Duffy will step in” and do the work, Sgt. Martin said.

“It’s a perception and it leads to that,” he said. “We’re threatened with layoffs.”

The union is asking an agreement be drawn up about the chief making the arrests.

Chief Duffy said he will not stop patrolling neighborhoods or making arrests if he receives reports from citizens, whether on or off-duty, because of the complaint.

“It’s not like I am getting the information and keeping it to myself and playing hero,” the chief said. “I will continue to do this. I’m a public servant.”

Contact the writer: smcconnell@timesshamrock.comThe arrest in question

On March 20, while not on duty, Scranton Police Chief Dan Duffy decided to take a drive through West Scranton, following up on complaints about drug activity. He saw a man he had arrested before walking on Division Street, according to arrest papers. Chief Duffy ran his name, confirmed there was a bench warrant issued for his arrest, and pulled him over. “I consider myself always on duty,” Chief Duffy said at the time.


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  • 028_max50

    SGTSchrader300

    over 3 years ago

    518 Comments

    Don't worry Cheif Dan Duffy, this is just a foot in the door.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    BUMP OFFICER1983, ONCE AGAIN GOOD JOB CHIEF

  • 028_max50

    SGTSchrader300

    over 3 years ago

    518 Comments

    I don't think the Cheif did the wrong thing at all. We actually need more Officer's just like him, I wouldn't stand and let a known drug dealer, commit crime in my community and get away with it. I salute this Cheif!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    1Tinman

    over 3 years ago

    616 Comments

    Are they serious? The Chief is still a cop... what are we doing going to war with each other?
    Whether unions are a good idea or a bad idea, they are currently getting out of control. This is the tpe of thing that could end unions permanently.

  • N752076319_414189_663_max50

    Ghostrider_911

    over 3 years ago

    292 Comments

    You take an oath, you wear the badge... there is NO such thing as "off-duty"... (even if that means that you have to get uniforms to the scene to effect the arrest)...

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    Sounds like PA needs to get there sh*t together. We are NEVER off duty! Good job Chief!!!

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