Two Southborough police officers have resigned

by susan on December 23, 2010

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Police Chief Jane Moran told Selectmen on Tuesday night that two Southborough police officers have resigned from the force to take positions in other departments. She said the officers were leaving for “personal reasons.”

Officer Robert Nelson will join the police force in Stow, while Officer Meredith Lobur has accepted a position with the Provinceotown Police Department. Both officers have been with the department for five years. Lobur is the only woman on the force besides the chief.

Nelson and Lobur will leave Southborough the first week of January. Selectmen voted unanimously to allow Moran to fill the two positions, but until that happens, Moran said the department will have to rely on overtime and reserve officers to fill all the shifts.

“We are very thin,” Moran told selectmen.

Despite the staffing challenges, Moran said her department is doing everything they can in response to the recent rash of home break-ins around town.

The uptick in burglaries is affecting many area towns, and Moran said Southborough has reached out to law enforcement in other towns along the Route 9 corridor — including Framingham, Westborough, Northborough, and Shrewsbury — to collaborate on solving the crimes.

“We’re communicating on more proactive terms,” she said. “We’re going to continue to do the best we can.”

1 Neil Rossen December 24, 2010 at 8:25 AM

No doubt there are no leadership problems. Or are there?

2 No doubt? December 24, 2010 at 10:03 AM

“No doubt” the resignations could have nothing to do with understaffing, overwork due to mandatory overtime paired with a sudden increase in crime, subpar police department facilities, our town’s cutting of the Quinn bill and likely morale problems due to all of the above?

But you just keep blaming “leadership,” Neil. It’s far cheaper than our fixing any of the potential problems I’ve listed. We all know how you feel about taxes…AND our current police chief. You’re nothing if not consistent.

3 Neil Rossen December 25, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Sorry, are youi the person “consistently” in favor of higher taxes to fill your particular prorities? If so, please accept my apologies. And, BTW, I do not recall commenting on the current police chief as an individual. If I have done so, it was so long ago I’ve just forgotten. You may also like to consider whether we should leave the fate – and I mean fate – of the telecom windfall to the mercies of our town government or whether it should ber paid out to taxpayers whose money it actually is. Well, hopefully the new House of Reps will avoid higher federal taxes. Seems like the public at large through their votes would prefer that they keep THEIR money.

4 Jeff December 25, 2010 at 6:51 PM

The Southborough police Dept. has done a great job with what they have had to work with recently. The officers leaving the Dept. are seeking other employment to better themselfs and exspand there careers and no one can blame them for that. If they are in fact leaving because of of internal problems that may or may not exsist, then we don’t need them there. Our officers need to be tough and commited and from what I know of the two officers leaving, they are just that. Dedicated to there work. Chief Moran has been on the Southborough police Dept for longer than allot of people have lived in town and no doubt longer that some of the younger generation has been alive. She knows our community and the people in it and that is the best exsperiance a chief can have. Younger and outside officers could not fill the position of chief for the town of Southborough like cheif Moran can. I have highest respect for the chief and the Southborough police officers for there ability to do there jobs well, even while some people insist on bad mouthing them. For all those who continue to make negitive comments, I ask that you stand in front of the next bullet from the next crimenal that comes along. The police are here to serve and protect us, I ask to see the people that think they can do better job. These are strong and brave people, braver that the most Southborough residents I see on a daily bases. It is clear to me now from all the critics that it is truly an unforgiving job. Think about your comments you have made next time you pick up the phone to call them and put them in harms way. And evan with all the bad comments that I keep hearing, They still show up to stand between us and harms way, Imagine that!!!

5 Al Hamilton December 28, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Jeff

I agree that on the whole we are well served by our police officers. But I think we need to put some perspective on your comments. Each officer chose this profession of their own free volition. Being a police officer is a dangerous job, but far from the most dangerous occupation in the US (Fishing, Logging, Farming, Truck Driving and various Construction Trades are significantly more dangerous).

Police officers in Ma are quite well compensated. Every time a paper publishes the actual salaries of public workers the top end of the scale is dominated by police officers who supplement their earnings with detail work. Police officers also receive very generous (by private sector standards) benefits. Perhaps the greatest benefit is the ability to retire in Ma at age 55.

So, yes our police officers deserve respect and appreciation for the job they do. But, regardless of how someone feels about the police or the police department when we pick up the phone we have the right to expect they will respond in the same professional way they always have. Our police officers are not volunteers, they are paid professionals.

6 ProCop December 26, 2010 at 5:06 PM

Does anybody know the education level of these officers. Are they going to departments that offer educational incentives(Quinn Bill)? It should be noted that officers that go to other departments enter the new department as the person with the least senority and are the first to be laid off, often last for vacation, and are the last to bid shifts. They are typically scheduled to the midnight shift. I know both offficers had enough senority and were not assigned to the midnight shift in Southborough.
The best chief or the newest station cannot make up for the benifit of being paid for an education.

7 No doubt? December 26, 2010 at 9:59 PM

To clarify, I didn’t mean to suggest that the officers were leaving for the reasons I listed. I just meant that the previous poster’s insinuation was unfair. I wholeheartedly agree with evrything Jeff posted about our police force. I just also think we, as a town, are not really giving them clear signs of our gratitude or, more importantly, all the support and “tools” we possibly can to help them do their jobs.

8 Jeff December 28, 2010 at 12:30 PM

No doubt,
My comments were more directed at others that have made really negitive comments in the past. Not just in this forum either. I considered your comments constructive. I just needed to drive home the challenges of the job so the “Neil’s” of the world will put themselfs in the shoes of the officers before making negitive comments.

Lets face it, times have changed and thats no shotgun sitting next to them anymore.

Al,
I was not trying to make other professions sound less meaningful or dangeress but at this time and in this forum they did not need defending. You are correct that police officers have chosen the profession they are in and there are many percs to the job. You have no argument from me.

Neil, not sure that you are on the same topic as we are on anymore.

9 Aaron December 28, 2010 at 9:26 PM

Well, JEFF.

If the Officers are leaving for internal problems then the problems are internal and the attitude that you dont want them because of that is purely stupid. It should speak to what is going on in the dept if that is the case.

10 Aaron December 28, 2010 at 9:35 PM

Al,

You are right in some aspects but clearly worng on others. To compare dangerous jobs and try to argue which is more dangerous is childish, silly and irrelevant. Also to point out that they chose the job is correct, but it is another silly argument. Police in Massachusetts are not starving but are not cash cows like you seem to think, they work for the money and these salaries in the papers you are refering to are a small minority and the Officers who make these salaries are working upwards of 90HRS a week. Just because they choose to work and live the american dream they should not be looked down on by people like you. Its ok when people in the private sector work hard and want to get ahead but its some sort of public corruption when Police want the same for themselves and/or thier families. As far as your complaining about retiring at 55, well thats old compared to most other states, ill also tell you that 50/55 should be the end of the line for people in certain professions, like Police work, sorry its a younger person’s job. Older Officers are more easily injured so they should get the hell out unless they are going to hold and adminstrative function.

11 Al Hamilton December 29, 2010 at 2:18 PM

First, it is not my comparison. The Bureau of Labor
Statistics (Dept of Commerce) collects the data and ranks
occupations by risk of death. It is a fact that being a logger of
fisherman has a 6-7X greater risk of workplace death than being a
police officer. The high risks associated with being a police
officer (and they are high), are often cited as a reason for
special consideration but no one every speaks for the farmers,
ranchers, loggers, fishermen, truck drivers, roofers, construction
workers, electrical workers who all provide the food on our tables
and roofs over our heads and all have occupations that carry
significantly higher risks of workplace death than being a police
officer. Sorry but these are facts. I never begrudged a police
officer earning a good living merely noted another set of facts. I
have no problem with police officers, fire fighters or teachers
achieving the American dream. As for retirement at 55. I think this
is a tremendous waste of talent. I assume that an officer with 20+
years of experience is a highly skilled and talented professional.
Removing this person at the peak of their professional life seems a
great waste. Yes, there are physical parts of the job that may
suffer and perhaps should not be attempted. but I suspect that on
balance experience triumphs. Other occupations find ways to take
advantage of these skilled workers while delegating some of the
more arduous tasks to younger less experienced workers. I am also a
fiscal realist and find the economic notion that someone can work
for 25 to 30 years and then collect a pension and health care for
another 25 to 30 years a difficult economic reality to realize and
pay for. If I were a public sector worker I would be badgering my
union rep to investigate the health of my pension plan. If you lift
the covers you will not like what you find. Almost all state and
local pension plans are significantly underfunded and rest on
unrealistic assumptions and the promise of health care is equally
at risk. Sorry but these are facts as well. You have ascribed a set
of motives to me that are not true. I greatly respect and
appreciate the services provided by our teachers, firefighters and
police officers. I have consistently argued against many capital
projects because the funds required will threaten our ability to
pay for those services. At the same time, we need to recognize that
public sector workers have steadily made economic gains when
compared to their private sector counterparts and that we have an
unsustainable business model. Frankly I do not see how we can
provide the required services and pay for all the promises we have
made and he sooner we face this reality the better.

12 Jeff December 28, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Aaron,
Sorry to have upset you as that was not my intention and I think you may be reading to far into my comments and missed the true message I was trying to present.

As for the comments in question, if they were leaving because of an internal problem, then they would have been part of the problem. A true profesional rises above those problems and trys to solve them, they do not resign there position. We don’t need officers that won’t face a problem or run from them. In my next sentance you should have read that I don’t think that is what has happened and the two officers are tough, commited and dedicated to there jobs. All that being said, my attitude was one of defence for our police force and frustration with some of the public veiws of them. Lets face it, allot of people have not been shy in there veiws. I would not have used the adjective (i will not repeat it) you used to descibe my true attitude on the subject. It is now one of sympathy for them.

Maybe I should have just simple said “please stop verbaly bashing our fine police dept” and left it at that.

I now stand corrected in the errors of my ways and will be more direct with my comments in the future. I do hope you share in the true meaning I was trying to present, one in defence for them.

13 carrie alpert December 29, 2010 at 8:09 AM

i am sure that the criminals out there, the ones who have broken into our homes recently are super psyched that we so openly post our towns information on a public blog–like how many officers are leaving and when and that the remaining ones will be doing extra overtime and be really tired.

i am no detective but i did in fact just finish “The Girl Who Played With Fire” and that is “pretend” and i don’t remember that type of move being in it.

14 susan December 29, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Carrie, the information posted here was shared at a public meeting. It was also reported on by the Metrowest Daily News. Chief Moran spoke willingly and openly with me about the officers leaving. Nothing I wrote about was in any way confidential, and it is all certainly in the public interest.

15 Neil Rossen December 29, 2010 at 12:48 PM

When I look at this thread there are only 2 posters that
leave their full names.And this is a Town blog. On the general wild
west of the internet I think anonymous postings are OK, but in this
forum which touches on town issues I think it is useful to know
where real voters stand rather than they be anonymous.

16 John Kendall December 29, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Now that everyone has kicked each other and looked up
statistics and facts that nobody will read, let’s get back to the
basic fact here…..2 officers have resigned their positions.
Instead of all the speculation, why not ask Chief Moran if they
left because of the Quinn Bill, more crime fighting,
whatever.

17 jeff December 29, 2010 at 9:34 PM

Thanks john, great thought.

I do not believe the chief can discuss that though. Most HR departments are not allowed to discuss an employees reason for leaving a company and I would imagine this situation would be simular. You may ask the officers but they don’t have to answer.
Any lawers want to confirm this?

18 carrie alpert December 30, 2010 at 7:10 AM

Susan, you absolutely run a top notch blog and the
information you run is often reported on elsewhere and then you
show it either in a different light or help springboard it into a
different thread for us, i appreciate that and know others do as
well–what i wanted to show was that having anyone, any source at
all talk about police officers leaving in such a brazen public
way–so heavily covered is not in the best interest for us as a
town. Having it be of public interest and noted at a public
meeting, hearing it on a docket is in one framework but having it
splashed all over the news while we are in the midst of dealing
with a crime spree, I do not see how that is positive or helpful
for those that live here.

19 Midwesterner January 1, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Let’s see the town loses two cops to departments that
payless than Southborough, and the town loses firefighters on a
regular basis. Maybe if the selectman stopped hiring people who are
not qualified to be chief this problem would stop! Also maybe the
Town of Southborough is just a crappy place to work for public
safety personnel. Hey I’m just sayn’

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