All Sections
Welcome guest, you have 3 views left.  Register| Sign In


Goffstown police sergeant fights suspension


The Goffstown Board of Selectmen has until mid-April to make a ruling on whether police Sgt. David Rivard should be suspended for five days without pay for alleged insubordination stemming from three incidents involving Rivard and patrol officers under his command.



At a grievance hearing on Thursday, March 28, Rivard’s attorney, Tracy Culberson, questioned Goffstown Police Chief Patrick Sullivan over his decision to suspend the sergeant, saying the department’s failure to comply with its own guidelines should negate the punishment handed down. Culberson also argued that the punishment given Rivard was neither fair nor reasonable in light of the nature of the infractions.



Rivard’s suspension was based on three write-ups he received for insubordination. He was twice cited by Sullivan for failing to get officers under his command out on patrol 15 minutes after the start of morning roll call, which begins each day at 7 a.m.



In another incident, a Goffstown police officer was being honored at an awards banquet at Saint Anselm College, and Rivard allowed an officer under his command to leave his route so he could go to the college and personally congratulate his colleague.



In the third incident, Rivard allowed one of his officers to leave his route early one Monday morning to congratulate Manchester police officer Daniel Doherty, who was a guest at a radio station in Pinardville. At the time, Doherty had recently returned to duty after he was shot seven times last March by a man he was in the process of trying to arrest on the west side of the city.



According to Culberson, the third incident prompted Sullivan to issue what’s called a Class 3 violation, one of the most severe that can be handed down and which involves being suspended without pay.


Police department policy is that officers are not allowed to leave their routes without permission from the police chief, Culberson said. But Culberson added that policy has not been uniformly or strictly applied in the past.


“This was an issue the chief created himself that didn’t have to be created,” said Culberson, who was once a police officer on the Goffstown force before becoming a lawyer. “He’s picking a fight when there shouldn’t be one.”



Sullivan was represented at the hearing by the police department’s prosecutor, Kerry Steckowych. The hearing was open to the public at Rivard’s request, and it was broadcast live over the town’s public access cable channel.



At one point the questioning of Sullivan turned on whether – under existing police department policy – Rivard’s infractions should have been turned over to the department’s internal affairs division.



“We went back and forth on the word ‘should’ as opposed to ‘shall,’” said Culberson. “I think, at the end of the day, this hearing shined a light on the policies of the Police Department and how they get applied.”



Culberson said he and his client are asking selectmen to overturn the violation and put Rivard back in the position he was in before the incidents.


“It’s important for the public to know what Dave Rivard is being disciplined for,” Culberson said. Citing the Saint Anselm incident, Culberson said, “Allowing a guy to leave his shift with half an hour left on it is not a major thing. That half-hour of the shift is usually a time when officers are doing their reports or cleaning out their cruisers.”


Culberson said Rivard is a 22-year veteran of the Police Department whose personnel file is filled with commendations.



“It’s just sad,” he said. “This guy is probably one of the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet.”

.



Inn to Inn Cookie and Candy Tour Inn to Inn Cookie and Candy Tour
When you arrive you'll be offered signature holiday cookies and candies, as well as a Holiday Recipe Cookbook to take home so you can bake the sweet treats yourself!

37th Annual Candlelight Stroll 37th Annual Candlelight Stroll
In the spirit of a truly Vintage Christmas, Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth welcomes visitors to travel through 300+ years of daily life in the waterfront neighborhood of Puddle Dock this...

Wolfeboro Festival of Trees Wolfeboro Festival of Trees
The Wolfeboro Festival of Trees, which is held annually at the Wright Museum in Wolfeboro, is a charity benefit featuring two levels of more than 65 trees decorated by area organizations and...

Eileen Ivers and Her Amazing Celtic Band Eileen Ivers and Her Amazing Celtic Band
Back at the Dana Center in Manchester this weekend - by popular demand - Eileen Ivers is acclaimed as one of the paramount innovators in the Celtic and World music genres.

Lights on the Hill Lights on the Hill
Celebrate the spirit of the season with "Lights on the Hill" at the Candia Congregational Church and other historic 19th century buildings in Candia.

FOLLOW US
Follow us on Facebook Follow our RSS feed

Contact Information

The Goffstown News
100 William Loeb Drive
Manchester, NH 03109

Ph: 603-206-7800
Fax: 603-206-7801

Circulation
Neighborhood News publications can be found at a newsstand near you here.

News, Obituaries, Sports & Social Announcements
editor@yourneighborhoodnews.com

Christine Heiser, Executive Editor
cheiser@yourneighborhoodnews.com
Ph: 603-206-7811

Susan Clark, News Editor
editor@goffstownnews.com
Ph: 603-206-7808

Advertising
Erik Frey
Sales Representative
Office: 603-668-4321 x191
Cell: 603-205-0876
efrey@unionleader.com
Print rate card | Digital rate card
Email ads to art@yourneighborhoodnews.com
Classified advertising: 603-669-1010


Calendar Listings
Please use our online form at www.nh365.org