Bristol policeman suspended
BRISTOL — The town of Bristol has suspended Bristol Police Sgt. George “Randy” Crowe, with pay, pending the outcome of an investigation.
On Oct. 7 the selectboard voted to schedule a hearing for Oct. 29, when the board would determine whether Crowe “is guilty of negligence, dereliction of duty or conduct unbecoming an officer, and if so, determine appropriate discipline,” according to that meeting’s minutes.
The board also decided at that time to suspend Crowe “from duty/employment, with pay, effectively immediately, and at least until the hearing now set.”
Bristol Police Chief Bruce Nason, Bristol Town Administrator Valerie Capels and Bristol selectboard Chair Joel Bouvier declined to comment on what they called a “personnel issue.”
Because some of the required parties could not attend the Oct. 29 hearing it was rescheduled for Nov. 4, according to Capels.
A draft of that meeting’s minutes show that the selectboard convened an executive session — which included Capels, Nason, Crowe, Vermont State Police Sgt. Joseph Szarejko and attorneys Susan Edwards and Joseph Farnham — but no action was taken afterward.
Crowe was still suspended as of Tuesday, according to Bouvier, who explained that the issue was currently under discussion by attorneys.
Earlier this year the Bristol selectboard recognized Crowe for 25 years of dedicated service to the Bristol Police Department and to the community.
Crowe began his law enforcement career in 1991 as an auxiliary trooper for Vermont State Police and was hired as a part-time officer by the BPD in 1994. Two years later he was promoted to full-time, and in 2012 he was promoted to sergeant.
In 2015 Crowe earned a commendation from the town and then-Bristol Police Chief Kevin Gibbs for actions that may have prevented a Colchester woman from taking her own life.
At the moment, Crowe is also a defendant, along with former Chief Gibbs and the town of Bristol, in a federal lawsuit filed last March by Bristol residents Tyler and Piper Wallace Westbrook, who accused him of, among other things, using excessive force, making an unlawful arrest and committing assault and battery in an incident that occurred at a Bristol business in 2016, according to documents obtained from the U.S. District Court in Vermont.
For now, the Bristol Police Department is making do without Crowe.
“I have a great group of officers who have always adjusted schedules and/or covered more shifts any time we experience an unanticipated schedule change,” Nason told the Independent in an email. “Bristol is a great community to work for and we work together to assure we address their law enforcement needs. I appreciate their dedication, effort and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done.”
Reach Christopher Ross at [email protected]
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