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West Springfield Police Captain Responds To Firing

Captain O'Brien

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — After being on paid administrative leave for the last two years, and a deal regarding his employment fell through last week, West Springfield Capt. Daniel O’Brien has been fired from the force.

Mayor Gregory Neffinger made the announcement late Monday afternoon. He adds that a termination letter from him, along with a letter from Police Chief Ronald Campurciani, a copy of the investigative report, and a copy of the state statute were hand delivered to O’Brien Monday.

The termination takes effect immediately.

“We felt that we were trying to do the best deal for him and the City of West Springfield,” Neffinger said. “There were certain issues in the investigative report that really made it difficult for him to continue as a police officer in West Springfield.”

O’Brien had been on paid administrative leave since an incident in September 2011, during which a woman in police custody and in a restraint chair had her mouth taped shut while at the police station.

A hearing involving O’Brien, his attorney, and city officials was held on Friday, October 18, following which all parties acknowledged a deal had reached as to O’Brien’s employment status, and added that they were all satisfied with the outcome.

A final agreement was set to be signed by Friday, October 25.

So what went wrong? O’Brien says after careful review, it wasn’t fair.

“I was moving forward trying to see if it was going to be something that would be workable but in the end I found that it had too many flaws in it,” O’Brien said.

Including years of service. O’Brien says his retirement deal included extra time beyond his 25 years of full-time work and one year of auxiliary service.

“I knew that there was no other time yet when I would tell their lawyer and the administration that I didn’t have that time, I don’t have W-2s that can show it, they said ‘Ohh well we’re going to put in for it anyways and I said ‘Well I’m not going to sign anything like that’ so the deal was really a non-starter from the beginning because that was in there,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien was flagged for six incidents in an internal affairs investigation over his career, including the 2011 incident. He says each of them has a set of facts that counters what the report states, however, and that’s why he is going to appeal his firing.

“Of course I hope for the reverse but what I’m most grateful for or looking forward to, is just being able to counter what they’re saying the record is.  It is not the record. It is one side. I have many issues and many things I can show to say the investigation was not done completely. There’s two sides to it.”

Neffinger says after two years, it’s important for the police department to move on. That appeal is expected to take at least several months.In the meantime, there are still questions about whether O’Brien will earn his pension.

WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.

  • HonestABElincoln

    I’m pretty sure his behavior since the mouth taping incident, and at this meeting where he carried two rolls of duct tape in holsters, and kept quick drawing them and pointing them at people, likely sealed his fate.

  • HonestABElincoln

    I magine this guy pulling you over for speeding, and as he walks up instead a gun or cuffs he just has rolls of tape? So you casually ask “so o0fficer, what’s up with all the rolls of ta..” ZIP ZIP ZIIIP ZIP ZIP ZIIIIIIP: MMMPHH MPH MPHHHH MPHH MPHHHH.

  • Nyrebel9

    Lmao! Great posts honestabe! He needs to cut his losses and move on. He has lost the respect of the public and fellow officers with his arrogant behavior. He continues to crave attention and denies any wrong- doing as a last ditch effort to stay in the spotlight. Time for him to act like a man and stop his childish behavior and walk away. The game is over and he lost.

    • HonestABElincoln

      And that was my point Nyre. In that kind of job if you are not wanted or respected by your peers, you won’t last long. It’s obvious from the mayor to the Dept employees, he is not welcome. In that situation he should be man enough to walk away, but he won’t. Likely neither would any of us faced with winning a large sum of money for nothing but being a bullie.

  • HonestABElincoln

    Mr Lynch (great name for a judge, not cop) your comments here are always in favor of the cops, no matter what they may have done or not done. You are about the most biased poster here. Are you getting cheered on by your brothers?