According to chairman of the Board of Selectmen, James Wettlaufer, the contract the town entered with Brian Haughey is a standard contract drafted by the Chiefs of Police Association of the Commonwealth.
Brian Haughey was highly recommended by different sources and praised for his integrity and character. Haughey is obviously well qualified due to his extensive training.
According to the contract, Haughey will work 40 hours a week and will be on call 24/7. He will not get paid for overtime and he will not be allowed to work detail within the town of Holland.
However, if he chooses to work details in other towns he is allowed to do so.
His salary for the first year will be $54,500, for the second year $60,000, and for the third year he will get the same percentage increase as other town employees. He will also be able to use one of the town Police Cruisers to commute between work and home.
Wettlaufer: “The cost of his training came out of the Police Expense Budget and it was under a contract that he signed. He has agreed that ... should he decide to leave the services of the community that he would have to re-pay the cost of sending him to school plus the cost of the salary that he received while he was attending the school, and it is pro rata basis for the first five years. So it is twenty percent for each year.”
Haughey will enjoy some independence in his actions for at least the next five years; he will not have to fear not being re-appointed or even fired if his actions are guided by integrity instead of misguided expectations by his superiors (James Wettlaufer and the two other selectmen are in essence the police commissioners and as such hire, re-appoint, and fire members of the HPD).
If Haughey would not be re-appointed or fired, he would easily find a position in another town to the detriment of our community.
Brian Haughey replaces former Chief of Police, Kevin Gleason.
A close friend of Earl Johnson, Gleason did the selectboard’s bidding and adopted the “Johnson entitlement mentality” which corrupted Gleason to the point that he ended up facing a judge who sentenced Gleason to serve a two year jail term for buying guns with taxpayers money and then selling them only to pocket the cash.
The larceny charges were just one of many illegal actions by Kevin Gleason who thrived under Earl Johnson’s corrupt regime while Johnson was the chair of the Board of Selectmen.
The writing was on the wall and Holland is not the only town where corruption takes a heavy toll on a community which nurtures apathy.
The lack of integrity in the law enforcement community is a national problem. The U.S. Department of Justice organized a National Symposium with the title, ”Police Integrity, Public Service With Honor.” The symposium took place July 14-16, 1996, in Washington, D.C.
A subsequently published report begins with:
Integrity is universal to the human experience; it can be considered the measure of an individual, an agency, an institution, a discipline, or an entire nation. Integrity is a yardstick for trust, competence, professionalism, and confidence.
Deep within every human being is the subconscious ability to interpret behavior and events as a mark of integrity or a violation of trust. It is this universal tendency that makes the study of integrity complex, challenging, and important.
In the interesting report about the 1996 Symposium on police integrity, Professor Mark Moore, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University pointed out:
An organization that has integrity gives members job satisfaction. Without that, the badge, so to speak, is tarnished, resulting in a sense of failure or loss.Moore made the finding that integrity is significant for both leaders and police officers alike.
It is not surprising that Haughey had initially no interest in becoming the Chief but later changed his mind, (I wouldn’t be surprised if his decision had something to do with the fact that Earl Johnson was no longer running for selectman in 2010.)
It remains to be seen whether or not this opportunity for integrity in the police department will be maintained or if the corrupt Select Board will try to mold Chief Haughey into another GLeason. Because the entire police department is at the mercy of the Select Board to be reappointed each time a contract is up, officers are forced to choose between serving the selectboard or the community with integrity. If the selectboard has the best interest of the community at heart, there is no conflict; if the selectboard is corrupted as it was under Johnson / Wettlaufer, job security comes with compromising ones values.
It is my opinion that Chief Haughey is a man of integrity and my guess is that he would leave before he would waiver and compromise his integrity. Chief Haughey will be up for reappointment in three years; if the Select Board does not reappoint him he owes the town nothing. He does not have to repay the town for education and Chief training for being let go. However, he has made a five year commitment to the town. Only if HE leaves before serving his five year commitment will he owe the town money. Chief Haughey has therefore five years of job security and is in a position to win the community’s trust and respect. Chief Haughey does not need to pine for approval from the Select Board to get reappointed. Unless the town wants to throw money away... he will be reappointed in three years. This is probably the first time a Chief does not have to please the Select Board in exchange for job security. We, as a community, need to seize this opportunity and support Haughey and give him the respect and trust he deserves.
This community has a unique opportunity, a five year window, to clean up the town hall. My prediction is that Haughey will leave if Wettlaufer is still a member of the Board of Selectmen five years from now. Our town has an opportunity to create the environment needed to root out corruption from top to bottom by electing individuals with integrity to sit on the Board of Selectmen and other boards, the rest will follow... We need to end the nepotism whereby Wettlaufer appoints his cronies to sit on the various boards and when someone with integrity is running against one of his appointees he / she is faced with an unjustified attack against his / her character. There is this atmosphere of fear in town which is appalling..
Wasn’t there a caucus, and town elections a couple of weeks ago? Wettlaufer re-elected? Unopposed?? I just don’t get it...
June 27, 2011, Peter Frei