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Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: BPD Discriminates Against Women

Dear Editor:

On
March 6th the Beacon City Council, reaffirmed their irresponsibility
by passing a resolution “…that the City will aggressively recruit
female and minority officers to fill [two vacant police officer] positions.”   
While I applaud the ideal of such recruitment, it is appalling
that the City Council would recruit female officers to subject them
to the hostile, discriminatory, un-equal opportunity employment
existing within the Police Department that in the past 3 years has compelled
75% of the female officers to leave. 

In November 2002 and January
2003, the Administration, including the City Council and the Police
Department, were made aware of biased actions, discriminatory practices
within the department against female officers, and an existing hostile
work environment.  In July 2003, again, the issues were reiterated
to the Mayor and City Council and additional information provided relative
to Civil Rights Violations and misconduct by officers.  An investigation
by an independent investigator followed, which developed into a full
scale investigation involving the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Department
of Justice and the F.B.I.

As
recent as March 2006, contrary to specific training received by officers,
a City of Beacon police officer used the derogatory “C” word
referring to the remaining female detective in the department. 
The City of Beacon Administration and City Council have failed to support,
protect and retain the professional, experienced, female officers who
are known and respected by the community.  How can they consciously
recruit female officers when they are aware of the shocking work conditions
existing in the Beacon Police Department?

Karen Buddenhagen

(Former City of Beacon Police
Officer, Shield #37)


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Discussion

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  1. i applaud u former 37. it is a shame that the lack of intelligence within the pd and the city has allowed fine officers to move on, but yet the pd and the city continues to employ uneducated officers. it is my understanding that some of these uneducated officers should be indicted and fired. i have never personally met u but i have heard that when u left the pd the city lost one fine officers. correct if i am wrong but to my knowledge there is only one female officer on the pd. if this is the fact god bless her and keep up the good work.

    Posted by joe papa | April 3, 2006, 8:43 pm
  2. Did that 75% of female officers (3) who left include a detective sergeant who retired after 20 years of service and one who resigned to move south with her new husband? And then there is one who quit beacuse,according to rumor, the PD would not give her a gold shield in the juvenile office. The one who remains is a detective married to a detective. Maybe the way to keep female officers is to make them all detectives since they seem unable to hack it as uniformed cops.

    Posted by B | April 4, 2006, 6:20 am
  3. wow B u sound like someone with first hand knowledge on this issue. would u please elaborate a little more. do u think male cops our better cops then female cops. i gotta tell u i work for a major corp. and i find that female employees our better then the male employees. maybe this is not the case in police work. is it b/c male officers our stronger?

    Posted by joe papa | April 4, 2006, 7:28 am
  4. I cannot claim first hand information about the local PD but my eyes and ears work pretty well and all that I have written is common knowledge. What I do not understand is why the city has to work so hard to attract qualified officers. Some people have the necessary skills and abilities and some have the desire to be cops but not everybody has both the ability and the desire. If either is lacking they should not be cops whether or not they fit some desired stereotypic profile or preference.

    Posted by B. Eakins | April 4, 2006, 7:35 am
  5. totally agree with u b.eakins. do u know what the qualifications to b a cop in beacon are? i beleive most pd require a 2 year degree, does beacon? maybe that is the problem lack of education. with all the law suites obviously the officers (def.) involved our lacking education or the desire and or ability to b a cop. but then again they our only civil servants who get a weekly pay check. im not sure what the difference between a female cop and male cop are or who makes a better cop. but that is pretty good that 2 of the 4 female cops in beacon went onto b detectives. says something about the male officers who cant be a detective or get passed over by another officer to b a detective.is that y the one male officer is suing b/c he was passed over? is he lacking the desire or ability or both?

    Posted by joe papa | April 4, 2006, 7:59 am
  6. Just to keep this conversation on point, the letter writer, who states that she is a former BPD officer, is curious as to how the City Council expects to hire and retain female police officers when there is an officer or officers in the department that find it appropriate to refer to female officers as cunts.

    This is a fair question and raises further questions, such as, if said officer(s) feel free to refer to their fellow officers in this fashion, how do they feel about the women they stop for traffic violations or that they protect and serve throughout the course of their duties? Cunts as well?

    If this is true, no matter what their differences are, neither the City Council nor the Chief of Police have any business allowing this type of behavior to go un-sanctioned.

    Posted by Jeff | April 4, 2006, 8:26 am
  7. very good points jeff. what is the c/council and the police chief doing about this. i personally hate the C word and for a public official such as a police officer to use this word they should b fired. i just hope that the mayor, city admin. and the police chief read this paper. i would like to know which officers are guilty of this. b/c if my wife was to b stopped i would b in fear that she would b mistreated. if the mayor, city admin. and chief allow this behavior shame on them for allowing it and what can we do as tax payers? no wonder y people r feared when they get stopped by police officer and rightfully so.

    Posted by joe papa | April 4, 2006, 9:05 am
  8. The point of recruiting in this fashion is to attempt to undo the wrongs of the past. Thanks Ms. B for your letter and do us a favor and drop your lawsuit against the city. Between you and the Sassi’s litigation, the city is going to go bankrupt and get scooped back into the Town of Fishkill… hmmm on second thought, that might not be so bad!!

    Posted by Joe Reporter | April 5, 2006, 10:48 am
  9. Some council members do review this site.

    It takes a lot of courage for someone in a PD to take on the “old boy” system (doesn’t have to be just boys, but frequently it is). Absent new leadership, the ones willing to speak up go through hell, and all the good officers who are just trying to do their job suffer though a difficult environment. I’m sorry this is taking so long, but it will get better.

    As for whether we should hire new officers before getting new leadership, that’s a fair question. I have voted against spending some (not all) additional funds for just that rationale (throwing good money after bad). But we also need to provide police services to the citizens. Those services may not be well led right now, but that’s the situation we are in.

    Posted by Lee Kyriacou | April 6, 2006, 8:54 am
  10. mr. Kyriacou:

    its nice to c atleast 1 leader is hearing the people, maybe u can show these articles to the rest of the leaders. u may have to read them b/c obviously they cant read nor hear the people. the “it will get better” has been said again and again WHEN. maybe u can answer some ? for the people which i know have been asked here before and if not maybe u can inquire about them. the chief began a big internal investigation on a officer for receiving an award spending tax payers money and resources to do so. but has he started an investigation as to who released a confidential internal memo regardless of its content to a citizen. (the president and vice president of the united states is being investigated right now b/c of an internal leak/memo being released) my concern is if i make a complaint to the pd i am concerned that my information will be released to the public. i thought we were suppose to trust the pd and not have to b concerned about annoym. or non annoym. information being leaked. my other ? is what is the mayor or city admin. waiting for to susp. and fire those involved in these law suites and investigations. didnt the city hire a pi to investigate the complaints. so what happened to his report. did he not do anything. and please dont tell me the mayor or city admin. cant susp. a officer b/c they can. maybe if the officers that are involved are susp. the pd can start to get back on track. i realize this will b a little costly but what would b better $ or law suites or even some innocent person getting injured or even killed by one of these out of control officers. as far as mrs. b i applaud her for what she did and stood up for. its too bad it had to come to this. REMOVE THE PROBLEM!!!!!

    Posted by joe papa | April 7, 2006, 7:37 am
  11. Sorry to jump back in time, but it seems there are still problems that persist and continue to go unredressed. Joe Papa asked in his April 4th, 2006 post at 9:05 am, “i would like to know which officers are guilty of this.” Well Joe, it is more than one officer at the BPD who openly refers to women as cunts. The most recent statement that I’m aware of was “allegedly” made by police officer Frank Pompilio referring to the remaining female detective. In this most recent incident, the police administration was made aware of it and has done nothing effective to address the offender. I for one believe there may be issuse in any workforce, but what is so appauling with the BPD is it’s ability and willingness to continue to turn a blind eye toward the abuse within it’s walls.

    With regards to B’s comments above, yes the 75% I referred to did include “…who left include a detective sergeant who retired after 20 years of service and one who resigned to move south with her new husband? I would hope that an educated person would ask, “Why did the three female officers leave and where did they go?” The answer as I understand it is, the Detective Sergeant you refer to did in fact retire after 20 years of service. Lucky for her that she had her 20 years in and was able to retire. Otherwise she like the others may have been compelled to resign. Why did she leave and take a much less paying job elsewhere? I’m confident that she didn’t leave because she was happy with the ongoings in the BPD. I believe that it was moreso because her position at the BPD was made unbearable and she was forced to retire to maintain her dignity and self-respect. As for the other female officer you refer to that left to move south with her new husband, as I understand it she left the BPD because it was absolutely intolerable and she too was compelled to leave. I’m confident that she didn’t willingly take a significant pay cut because she has enough money and dosen’t want or need anymore. I’m glad for her that she was able to find a police job elsewhere. It is however unfortunate that she had to leave the community where she was born and raised, raised her family, participated in community and school activities with her children and served the public with dignity and pride until a time at which her contined public service was not possible due to the activities of her male counterparts in crimefighting. She had to go hundreds and hundreds of miles away to protect and serve another community that appreciates it’s officers male and female equally alike. Wow, what a modern ideal huh? As for the detective that remains and who is married to another detective… Did it ever occur to you that maybe the only reason she remains is because she has to and not because she wants to? Not everyone can give up their career. That dosen’t mean that it is not an intolerable environment that she is exposed to. As I see it, nothing has changed but the name of the Chief. The same malfesance and misfeasance that was going on in 2003 when I was compelled to tender my resignation remains at the BPD with no end in sight because nobody in command wants to be the bad guy and take the wrong-doers to task. What a shame!

    As for B’s other comment, “Maybe the way to keep female officers is to make them all detectives since they seem unable to hack it as uniformed cops.” B, your outlook on females is disappointing to say the least. I’ll presume your lack of perspective on the life of a female member of the BPD is because you are not one. Consider this: Maybe it is not that we, “…seem unable to hack it as uniformed cops,” but maybe it is more that we cannot tolerate the crimes against humanity that the male uniformed cops are allowed to perpetrate and the willingness to accept as “Business as usual!” the blind eye that the City turns toward the activities of the corrupt members of the BPD, nor will we accept the violation of our civil rights by these perpetrators and just live with it.

    At this point I feel it necessary to say, in my opinion the problem officers of the BPD are only a few in number. It is unfortunate however, that those few have tarnished the whole BPD and the good seem unwilling, maybe afraid to stand up against the few bad apples.

    Here’s an interesting quote Edmund Burke (1729-1797),that is right on point. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” I for one will not sit idly by and do nothing!

    Posted by Karen Buddenhagen | February 20, 2007, 3:31 am
  12. I had a brother who passed away in the “Castle Point” Veterans Hospital last year.
    I am his brother and I’m “legally
    blind”. I would very much appreciate locating a copy of
    my brothers obituary. Can anyone on staff at “The Beacon Dispatch” help me and advise me?
    Brothers name is: Neil W. Snowden.
    Thank You for any/all help,
    GBS

    Posted by George B. Snowden Sr. | May 23, 2008, 8:35 pm
  13. I believe in equal opportunity, however, a female as a police officer does not fit the role because; #1 – if she becomes pregnant she is no longer a patrol officer but a dispatch, that means you loose an officer on that
    shift. #2 – can she hold her own in the event of a situation or backup her fellow officer? These are things that raise questions in the police department – equal opportunity is great but you want someone to cover your back at all times and rely on – your life can be at stake……

    Posted by N | July 10, 2008, 9:46 pm
  14. in the comment of the detective who married a detective – don’t shit where you eat….. what the police dept. should of done was to transfer one out of the dept. this is totally unethical

    Posted by N | July 10, 2008, 9:51 pm
  15. Welocome back! Beacon police officers have a common bond and a recipe to destroy many lives. The night they arrested me they had an agenda. They really think we are suppose to fear them. I had a terrible ordeal with Beacon Police that cost me my job, my license and my dignity. The charges they logged against me was a blatant out cry of them expressing thier thoughts about Obama, Patterson and other black people who need to ‘remember thier place” in white society. I have my transcripts from my hearing and I need people to know that “prejudice in the Beacon precinct” was my nightmare. They still have no training for new officers in Beacon as your article pointed out in a letter written to Attorney Pisanelli from the Civil Rights Division. So, they take to the street and use people and destroy lives for the sake of getting in a little practice. The article that came out re: Beacon police and tbe Civil Justice system lead me to you. Please contact me.
    Please hear my story. I can be reached at 8454-559-5168 or 845-440-8493. Gloria Conyers

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Posted by Gloria Conyers | July 15, 2008, 3:41 pm
  16. I’ve lived in Beacon now for about 5 years and I have never lived in a place where there is such a fascist environment. The police here aggressively terrorize any blacks that happen to be anywhere in the city, whether on main st., in front of their own homes (personal experience which I won’t bother to elaborate on). The point is, though the FBI had an investigation, nothing of substance was done so officers like those referred to above still terrorize the streets looking for more victims and with a judge and district attorney complicit in these actions, it is a never-ending cycle. I for one, as soon as the economy improves will sell and move out of this horrific city. However, once out (and out of the city’s clutches), I plan on working with others to organize a movement to establish a fully-empowered civilian complaint review board. It is the epitome of insanity to pay taxes to fully fund a police force to injure/kill myself and other citizens. However, I should note, that before some of you get the wrong idea, I used to work in a police dept as a summer work as a teenager, and had relatives who were police officers and one, who was the chief of police in the village where I grew up. So I KNOW what effective policing should entail, and Beacon is at the other end of the spectrum.

    Posted by Sam x | December 27, 2008, 1:38 pm
  17. Women police officers are best in an administrative position. for several reasons. They are not warmly welcomed into the ranks is that they are very poor in backing up a fellow officer if the going gets tough.My observations of female police on the street they can’t stand up to the beating that is comming from street thugs etc If a woman comes up against a angry drunken 250lb man they would have to shoot unecessarily. They are ineffective in hand to hand combat which they are not naturally endowed to engage in and have to rely on tasers or a firearm for effective policing if the situation escalated to one on one boxing/wrestling match. I don’t blame the Beacon rank and file PD for their reaction to having a non-functioning officer in the ranks..at the very least if I was one of them I wouldn’t want to be partnered with a woman..NOT!

    Posted by Sue Clary | October 15, 2010, 8:05 pm

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