Police announce promotions; Fantry termination upheld

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Thu., Jul. 14, 2011
Effective July 10, Lt. Richard Riggs was promoted to the newly-created rank of deputy chief of the South Windsor Police Department, assuming the second-in-command position. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

The South Windsor Police Department recently announced that three members of the department are being promoted to fill the supervisory vacancies created by the retirement of Captain Thomas C. Hart, who is retiring after 42 years with the SWPD.

Effective Sunday, July 10, Lt. Richard Riggs was promoted to the newly-created rank of deputy chief, assuming the second-in-command position. Riggs has been with the SWPD since 1979, serving as a patrol officer, patrol supervisor and patrol watch commander. He currently serves as commander in charge of Patrol Operations. Through the years, he has also been assigned as a criminal investigator, manager of the public information and technology section, the public information officer and coordinator of the SWPD’s field training officer program, as well as the aide to the chief of police in charge of developing departmental policies.

Effective Sunday, July 31, Sgt. Richard Watrous will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant and will serve as operations commander. He has been with the SWPD for 17 years, working as a member of the Special Enforcement Unit, on the C.R.E.S.T. Tactical and Dive teams and the East Central Narcotics Task Force, and has served as a patrol officer and patrol supervisor.

Also effective July 31, Agent Kristian Lindstrom will be promoted to the rank of sergeant and will serve as patrol watch commander.  Lindstrom has been with the SWPD for 13 years, serving as a field training officer, patrol officer and patrol supervisor. He has also been a member of the C.R.E.S.T. Hostage Negotiation Team and has served as a criminal investigator, school resource officer and aide to the chief of police.

In other police news, the town’s decision to terminate former police officer Brian Fantry on July 16, 2010, was upheld through the arbitration process, in accordance with SWPD’s collective bargaining agreement.

In his award dated June 3, 2011, arbitrator Frederick F. Ward, II confirmed that the town has just cause in the termination and the grievance filed by AFSCME Council #15, ACL-CIO Local 1480 was denied.

“The evidence is clear that South Windsor police officers were aware that lying regarding on-the-job conduct would result in discipline pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement,” wrote Ward in his decision. On May 21, 2010, Fantry lied to his supervisors about a relatively minor infraction of leaving his patrol car running and unsupervised, according to Ward. Fantry was previously suspended for three days in 2008 for lying, and had been reprimanded for other violations.

“The grievant [Fantry] confuses the violation of lying with the relatively minor nature of the offense that led to the lying,” noted Ward. “Lying to one’s supervisors about on-the-job conduct is a serious matter in any employment relationship, but particularly so when the lie is made by a police officer in responding to questions by superiors.”

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