WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The actions of a West Springfield Police Captain are detailed in an extensive report that will be used to decide the future of his career.
22News spoke with the West Side Chief of Police Friday night, and the Mayor, who said the actions of Captain Daniel O’Brien, violated department policy.
“The actions that night weren’t preventative. They were punitive."
West Springfield Police Chief Ronald Campurciani told 22News he was shocked when he saw a photograph two years ago. The photo was of an intoxicated woman who was brought in from the Big E, on September 2011, and placed in protective custody by Captain O'Brien.
Chief Campurciani said this was not department policy. “No, it’s not department policy to put tape around somebody's mouth. Tape the back of her head to a chair. Absolutely not. And don't forget. This woman was highly intoxicated. If she aspirates, she dies."
West Springfield Mayor Greg Neffinger told 22News, "I look at that picture and I say what if that was my daughter.”
Both the U.S. Attorney and the Hampden County District Attorney investigated and found no crime committed by Captain O'Brien, who's been on paid administrative leave for almost two years.
O'Brien said the woman was combative and spitting, allegations disputed by police present that night, and chronicled in an extensive report from an independent investigator.
The Chief said what's telling, is what didn't happen. "She was never charged with anything. So there's no crime here. She was never arrested."
The West Springfield City Council this week unanimously passed a resolution to allow Captain O’Brien to return to work. City Councilor Brian Griffin said the report and its release was a "witch hunt."
What happens next, Chief Campurciani will make a recommendation to the Mayor, who will decide whether Captain O'Brien returns to the job.
The Mayor told 22News he expects to make that decision some time next week.