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Sergeant fired from Weare Police Department

Last modified: 11/26/2013 11:59:07 PM
Former sergeant Joe Kelley has been fired from the Weare Police Department for “violations of internal policies and procedures,” Chief John Velleca said yesterday.

The sergeant was terminated in a letter from the town sent Thursday, Velleca said. Department records show Kelley was hired in Weare in May 2006.

Velleca declined to explain further about which policies and procedures Kelley had violated.

“It’s an unfortunate incident, but to expound upon the details I think would be inappropriate,” Velleca said.

Kelley confirmed yesterday he had been fired but directed all further questions to a union representative.

“I’m going to worry about my own health, and that’s the biggest thing,” Kelley said.

Kelley had been on leave from the department since Nov. 3. Earlier this month, Kelley cited as the reason for his leave psychological issues related to an officer-involved shooting when a Manchester man was killed in a confrontation with Weare police officers during an undercover drug bust.

Attorney General Joe Foster is still investigating whether the police were justified in using deadly force against Alex Cora DeJesus, 35, in the August incident.

The attorney general’s office has not named the two officers involved in that shooting, however, those officers are at work in the station but not on patrol duty, select board Chairman Tom Clow said earlier this month.

Clow declined to comment on Kelley’s termination, and the union representative could not be reached yesterday evening.

Velleca said he has not yet filled Kelley’s position with a new sergeant, but the department has recently hired one new full-time officer and moved one officer from part-time status to full time. Those officers were sworn in during a select board meeting Nov. 18.

New to the department is Officer Ryan Frisbee, a 25-year-old from Ithaca, N.Y., according to a draft of the minutes from that meeting.

Officer Barry Charest is an Army veteran who served overseas in Iraq and was a part-time officer in Weare for three months before moving to full time, Velleca said.

“We are very short-staffed, so at this point we’re in a constant state of hiring,” Velleca said.

(Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321 or mdoyle@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)


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