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Absent officer out for month

Bennett begins cop AWOL probe; union issues cited

Schenectady police officer Dwayne Johnson, shown at left when he joined the force in 2001, was suspended Thursday by Schenectady Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett, right.
Schenectady police officer Dwayne Johnson, shown at left when he joined the force in 2001, was suspended Thursday by Schenectady Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett, right.
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City Police Officer Dwayne Johnson was suspended without pay Thursday while the department investigates the extent of his absences during his overnight patrols. Johnson will be off the job without pay for a month, Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett said. After 30 days, Johnson may remain off duty with pay if the investigation is continuing. Generally, the department keeps officers on suspension until investigations are concluded; the union contract mandates that officers must be paid ...

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jlynn092882
February 20, 2009
3:33 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

All of this media coverage about Officer Johnson is ridiculous. Yes, he has made a mistake. But everyone that is saying that he needs to be fired needs to realize that Officer Johnson is a damn good cop and should not be fired. I work in a local emergency room and have seen the way he interacts with people quite often. He is the type of person that will go above and beyond to help someone and he would go to the end of the earth to help a kid. Also, he has daughters that now have to be questioned by their peers about their fathers actions. If it were your family (specifically reporters) would you be as apt to embarrass someone? I highly doubt it.

magicmark11
February 20, 2009
7:35 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

So your defense for what he did is that he's a nice guy??? The man is stealing the public's money and you want to let him off because he has children??? Come back to the real world. I'm sure many drug dealers, murderers and pedophiles are nice people who have children; should we excuse them, too???

esteban1949
February 20, 2009
7:53 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

as a retired 23 year police officer/administrator...personally...I'd fire the guy. why ? he took an oath to serve and to protect, not to steal from the people he is supposed to be protecting. grant you the way your system of doing things is totally different from where i came from...but still...I'd find a way to fire the guy. And in closing, what is wrong in your community ? that many of your officers in and within the police department have to work than many hours in overtime ?
if i was someone who was looking for a place to open or expand a business...it doesn't make Schenectady look all the great..the citizen's there need to adress this...but seeing i don't live there...or even in NY State...what would I know ? I'm just a hockey fan who likes the Rats...

Warm
February 20, 2009
7:57 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I do feel sorry for the family. I can imagine how hard is was explaining to his daughters about the dereliction of his duties and the fact that at 4 am he was probably sleeping in a bed with someone that wasn't their mother. A talk he hasn't had with the people that are paying the salary he didn't earn.

There were probably a lot of nice people that were robbed, assaulted and victimized while they wondered if help was coming. They will have to tell their daughters that even though no one was there to protect them, that maybe next time there will be.

I deal nationally with criminals on a regular basis. I have videos of a robber that changed the diaper on his baby in a hotel lobby right before he pistol whipped the clerk. Or the guy who helped a man load a bike in the trunk of his car, then walk inside and shot the cashier of the pawnshop for a playstation. I am sure that their friends thought they were great guys.

Both of these companies have added security from our company. The common factor between these two cases? The Highway patrol officer that was supposed to be working the area, he wasn't patrolling his sector. He was just fired for running traffic stops and taking the cash from minority drivers. He was caught by a sting setup by a local paper after complaints about the officer were not followed up on.

The press is our last defense from those who are hired to govern and protect us.

Riley
February 20, 2009
8:06 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Where do you come up with this crap Warm?

The newspaper is not an agency equipped to "fight crime".

resident
February 20, 2009
8:13 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

well at the very least Schenectady will be saving $$$$ during his suspension, If it goes longer than 30 days than even more $$$$$ will be saved, Quite a cost saving measure if you ask me.......

dickc06
February 20, 2009
8:29 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I worked in the court system and federal government for over 35 years.

This officer--by failing to clock out for his alleged "napping" or whatever--claimed he was performing work for which he should be paid. In the real world that is called "submitting a fraudulent timecard entry or document," which is, obviously, taking money or pay you are not entitled to. In some circles, this may even be construed as stealing, which, I believe, is against some laws, but, apparently, not as far as the SPD is concerned.

Is anyone around here aware of the fact the Town of Clay, outside of Syracuse, abolished their police department and opted for an increased presence by the county's sheriff department? From what I hear, their saving a bucket load of money, and response times have increased. They also retained several officers.

What is Schenectady waiting for? If you can't run it right or fix it, get rid of it.

wmarincic
February 20, 2009
8:33 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

The newspaper and so many people want to bring up Nick (supercop) Messiera and Mike Hamilton as bad cop's but let me tell you something, they should never have gone to prison, they should have been given medals. When those guy's were on the job the drug dealers were hiding in their holes. Drug houses were busted every day and the streets were much safer. The Fed's set up stings and actually sell drug's for months at a time to make an arrest so what is the difference between that and giving small ammounts of drugs in order to bust a major drug house? If you gave those Hookers cash for the info they would have immedietly gone to a drug house to buy the drugs anyway, so what was the difference? Because of those arrest's it made the criminals feerless as all they have to do is accuse a cop and they go free as we have recently seen more than once. As I have said many time, it has set a very bad and dangerous precedent in Schenectady for the citizens and the Police.

Warm
February 20, 2009
8:40 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Paper don't fight crime. They are sometimes needed to shine the light of day so people can see the problems. Can you imagine what it would be like if the corrupt really had no fear of the general public finding out what they were doing?

It is sad the in 10 years they will probably all be gone.

jack1680
February 20, 2009
8:54 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Some of you people on this blog are simply out of control. So many people want to point the finger when they should look in there own closets. Let me tell you, Mr. Bennett and Chaires have have some secrets from there past that not many people know.

Simply put Officer Johnson is going to get his punishment that is fair, hopefully. Although with Chaires running the show, the punishment won't be fair.

Really all you have here is a Officer sleeping on duty. Johnson did not miss any calls. Sleeping is wrong but every cop does it, including chaires and Bennett( in the past). You can't work mids and say you have not caught some zzz's. Did Johnson take it to a new level? Yes. And for that he is and will be punished. Just everyone sit back and calm down. As far as firing Johnson that would be a very harsh punishment, and i am going to prepare all of you Police Haters now that Johnson will not be fired, in my opinion.

Also, channel 6 news you make me sick going to his house. You people are vultures and are no better then Hookers trying to get a fix of crack. Only your fix is the story. You people are not trying to get his side, you are trying to feed off him while he is dead. Channel 6 did you ever hear of TRESPASSING.

wolfden
February 20, 2009
8:56 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I see why criminals migrate to Schenectady from New York City. Officer Johnson is a vital part of their police department and they know this. The only reason they are keeping his picture in the paper, and continuously making a notice of his salary is because it will keep the city in a “frenzy”. Which is working. Now if you are going to penalize him for whatever reason make sure you sequester all records. Not only will the gps have his record, but it will have All patrol officer records. The newspaper had a come up with a story and if I must add a very weak one, but it worked. The economy is in a crisis, and believe me it is not by Officer Johnson’s salary. If you take away the fact he was the highest paid (and this created some jealousy) officer and he only made 100k, then will the community still be up in arms? They have all this overtime due to no one wanting to work there. And if you think it is even better to have a bunch of Rookies with guns working crime- ridden areas, then you better look at some statistics. And for the record: COPS ARE NOT GOD OR ANGELS, THEY ARE PEOPLE TOO!! If you are going to penalize him do it on his work performance. You have officers right now that work in the department who don’t even confront crime when it is right in front of them because it is safer to come home then NOT!! So if Bennett thinks he is doing the community justice by keeping Officer Johnson out for a month, then so be it. He is only crippling a city, which is already crippled. You have to have minority cops because most of the lower income areas are minorities and they will not confide information to just anyone. Officer Johnson has built a bond/trust with those individual who assist him in fighting crime. You can have a LITTLE MIND and still carry a BIG TITLE to justify your actions.

ViewFromTheRight
February 20, 2009
9:20 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Schenectady Police Department Oath: "To Serve and to Protect" Ourselves

whatshisname
February 20, 2009
9:49 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

resident- How do you figure the city will be saving money? All of the regular and overtime hours he would have worked will have to be covered by OVERTIME worked by others.

wmarincic
February 20, 2009
10:07 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Warm, now I know your agenda. You work for a private security company and the company line is that the Police are buffoons and unable or unwilling to protect the citizens, therefor they need someone like you. Now I get it, you are just like the reporters, do you know the first thing reporters are taught? They are taught that if they are filming a man drowning and have a choice of saving the man or getting the footage of him drowning that their first responsibility is to get the story. Leeches and bloodsucking scum is what they are, not to mention liberallly biased...

Warm
February 20, 2009
11:14 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

wmarimdic,

I love the police, it is because of them I have my nice house in a gated community, maybe close to where Officer Johnson lives.

We are the ones that people turn to after the police have failed them. We don't catch the first person that has victimized a business, we aid the business owner in protecting themselves and in identifying the criminals that attack them the second time.

I have bulletproof glass that has been removed from a convenient store that stopped a bullet meant for some ones son. I have talked to victims of rape, robbery and assaults. I have seen what happens when people know that the police won't be there.

I am confused by your hatred of the press, yet you spend a considerable amount of time all over the internet blogging on their sites about how they are always wrong. Did they print a negative story about you in the past? As far as being liberal, isn't it usually the conservatives that complain about government theft and pork?

P.S. six years ago I received a citation for jumping into a pond and rescuing a diabetic that had a seizure and drove his car in to it. Shoot, maybe I should have grabbed my camera.

wmarincic
February 20, 2009
11:49 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Warm, The press has only written positive stories about me as I have always been involved in the community and trying to make it a better place to live for the people that live there.

Actually this is the only paper that I post on although I do have a website and am involved in national issues like illegal immigration. Yes it is the Conservatives that complain (rightly so) about theft and pork.

I have never condoned the actions of Johnson if they are true, remember, as you well know, there are always three sides to every story, his theirs, and the truth.

You make it sound like the Police don't want to be there for victim's of crime, believe me they do, but can't be everywhere at once. I said before that I watched Comm. Police Officers give out their personel phone numbers to victims of crime and to elderly people in a neighborhood that were having problems.

As far as jumping in a pond to save a kid, it sounds like you were at the right place at the right time and you certainly deserve to be commedated for it. We need more people to start thinking about something other than themselves, maybe this country will become a better place to live.

esteban1949
February 20, 2009
12:17 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

A Key point many have and are missing is this: what does that say about the greater Schenectady area and the community as a whole for a city or town that size to have all the problems in crime related issues it has. it really doesn't speak or look very well for you the citizens and tax payers there. i say that to remind you folks that and just as in your communitiy, there are going to be people who own companies which have or could bring jobs. And who wants to move to or re-locate to a community such as yours if and again i say IF...your community has the kinds of crime related problems it has...trust me very very very few if any. So that ought to be the real issue and again my vote is for dumping the chump...why ? if he can't respect his own limitations in trying to do a hazardious job as being a cop can be at times...then why should any of the citizens he's sworn to protect trust him or his "good judgement" ?

Have a good and safe week end...Go Rats !!

MoeLuv
February 20, 2009
2:20 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Messere And Hamilton were rogue cops and now they're felons. The SPD has been out of control for a long time. I hope the feds come back and arrest more crooked cops. Officer Johnson was doing what he was allowed to do. But isn't funny when the black police officer is the top earner, now he's watched...I hate Schenectady NY.

wmarincic
February 20, 2009
2:59 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Messere and Hamilton did the same thing that the Fed's have been doing for years, the only difference was that they weren't Fed's. When they were on the street Schenectady was a much safer city. You got to break a couple eggs to make an omelet.

wolfden
February 20, 2009
4:27 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Amazingly enough nobody wants the job because it is dangerous; however, everyone can have an opinion on how it is being ran. Only when someone see enough depressing situations (gunshot wounds/fatalities, rapes, assaults, domestic violence, drug dealings, etc..) can you walk in their shoes. Law Enforcement Officers are known to be the best Alcoholics. If you doubt it just check your local bars, they are there. Anyway, Officer Johnson does his job and by the looks of it only a chosen few appreciates the fact that he is a pillar in the community. Since Kathleen Moore seems to be such the crime fighter, and knows no boundaries, then the streets will be safer with less officers and no overtime. Just a camera and a pen!!

FYI: she should start at Hamilton Hill last I heard it is really bad there.

wmarincic
February 20, 2009
5:11 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Retired,
Well, to put Ms. Moore's action's in perspective, the entire staff on the Gazette incapable of doing the job so we need to have an investigation and start firing them all, or maybe we should bring in The Times Union to run the paper. There have been other inconsistencies in other articles so this is an ongoing patten with the Gazette, which must mean that their editor and newspeople must be uneducated newspaper thugs that spend their free time drinking and whatever else. Because of these inconsistencies over the years it is putting a black eye on the face of Schenectady and should be removed. The only paper in Sch'dy and they can't get a simple story straight. What would Brian Williams say?

choerilus
February 20, 2009
7:11 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

ROFLCOPTER @ those of you defending this clown. HE TOOK AN OATH TO PROTECT AND DEFEND, and this is what he's doing to earn a paycheck - PAID FOR IN PART THROUGH YOUR TAXES. Defend this idiot all you want. He's just another sad story in a long line of corrupt and stupid Sch'dy cops.

whatshisname
February 20, 2009
7:54 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

choerilus- Who you gonna call when you are the victim of a home invasion and people with guns or knives are kicking your door in?

choerilus
February 20, 2009
8:42 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Well, you could start by not living in the proverbial dumphole that is Schenectady. I'm so glad I left that place. Don't like the conditions? Stop having babies and move.

MoeLuv
February 20, 2009
9:51 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I'm originally from Schenectady but here in Georgia if someone kicks in the door for a home invasion I'll grab the Mossberg loaded with 00 buck first and then the glock 23 loaded with hollowpoints...castle doctrine...then I'll call the police.

esteban1949
February 20, 2009
11:13 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Yo MoeLuv...in my neighborhood ( W/S,NC) i have the same "insurance policies" except i has a 40 cal and H&K unit (that was issued to me prior to my retirement)the G-40 i got for my last birthday this past november...and it really is sasd that for a city as small as Schenectady is, that it has the kind of problems it has...it really doesn't make the community and it's leader look very good does it ?
enjoy the rest of the week end...

Warm
February 21, 2009
9:08 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

There is one ray of shine in this entire mess. From experience I can tell you for the next 90 days you are going to see an increase in police activity in Schenectady. Every officer will want to make sure that they are not the next front page story or that their GPS isn't going to show up for 30 minutes in front of some crack house.

Everyone knows where the criminals are, that's not the problem. It is the will to know and do something about it. Maybe this incident is what was needed.

wmarincic
February 21, 2009
9:49 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Maybe the administration need to make crime a priority and allow their officers to be proactive rather then reactive. Oh wait, if that happens they will probably charge their own officers with some civil right's violation.
Schenectady's problems are the cause of extremely poor city management starting with the last two mayors and most of the city council. We need to vote all of them out of office and start over.

wmarincic
February 21, 2009
5:39 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

retired, agreed, the cop's on the street cringe every time there is another story in the paper. The problem is everyone want to blame the whole department for the actions or lack of actions from a very few officers. people have to remember that any occupation that has 166 people employed especially one as stress filled as the police Department, they are going to have some issues, after all the Police are people too and no one is perfect.

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