Police Captains and City Owned Cars Don’t Mix: Chief Cafarelli Preparing Order to Return City Owned Vehicles

Acting Police Chief Joseph Cafarelli will be ordering Revere’s police captains, among the most highly paid municipal employees on the city payroll, to return their city-owned vehicles and to begin using their own transport from their homes to the station.

The chief’s order is imminent.

“It is time to change the way the department is run,” Cafarelli told the Journal. “Our captains should be using their personal vehicles to get here and to return home. If I can do it, then they can,” he added.

Last week, Mayor Dan Rizzo gave up his city-owned vehicle and said he would be driving his own car in order to set the example about the direction that city government is heading under his administration.

It appears that the chief is following the mayor’s example, which was not well received by those set to lose their city-owned automobiles.

The order will not met with general agreement, according to sources at the police station.

“A grievance is set to be filed with the union representing the captains as soon as the chief’s edict is issued,” said the mayor. ”I’m not sure exactly who will file the grievance but I hope and trust it does not prevail when a hearing is held on the merits of what we are trying to do.”

The mayor said it was impossible to know whether or not a union grievance would stand up at mediation.

“At least I’ve set the example. If I can drive my personal vehicle then they can drive theirs,” he added.

Mayor Rizzo said that one captain expressed wonder and disbelief that he should be losing the use of a personal, city-owned vehicle.

“How am I supposed to get to work?” he apparently asked the chief.

“Like the rest of us,” the chief was said to have replied.

However, in this instance, according to the source, the captain didn’t own a personal automobile and had been using his city-owned automobile as his primary mode of transportation.

“This stuff has to stop,” said the mayor.

“At least the example has been set,” the mayor repeated. “Perhaps a hearing officer judging the merits of captains having their own city paid and insured automobiles will be moved by the fact that I’ve given mine up,” he said.

“However, it is hard to predict what hearing officers do these days. Even if they reverse the chief’s coming order to take the automobiles away, at least we’ve tried to change the culture of the department,” he said.

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