Cop resigns after strip club visit while on duty

Desire to see “world’s smallest porn star” perform outweighed department policy for officer
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/26/2010

A Massachusetts police officer who had recently been commended for good police work resigned rather than be disciplined for going to a strip club while on duty to watch a dwarf porn star perform.

Officer Richard P. Bennett, 28, of the Stoughton, Mass., police department, gave a short resignation letter to the Town Manager on June 30. His resignation came 10 days after he went to Club Alex’s Gentlemen’s Club, where 3-foot-9-inch adult-film star Bridget “The Midget” Powers — billed as “the world’s smallest porn star” — was making a guest appearance, while working an overnight shift. He was in full uniform when he went to the club.

The Stoughton police department requires officers on duty to contact dispatch and join up with a partner when responding to any calls at the strip club. However, Bennett didn’t do either and went to the club alone. Later, at least five officers on duty at the time told Stoughton Police Chief Paul Shastany of Bennett’s actions.

”The culture is such in the organization that people want to do the right thing,” Shastany told the Patriot-Ledger. “This is an example of what works well when officers hold themselves accountable.”

When the department investigated the reports of Bennett’s little trip on the side, he denied it happened. Department policy dictated any officer who lies during an investigation would be disciplined or fired. However, before any disciplinary action was taken, Bennett tendered his resignation from the department.

“He was insubordinate and left his section and drove over to Alex’s,” said Shastany.

During an unrelated investigation after Bennett’s gun misfired during a firearms recertification exercise, it was found he had an unauthorized laser sight on the gun, which improves accuracy. Officers must obtain the chief’s permission for such a modification.

Bennett recently received a letter of commendation for his part in an the arrest of a suspect for the shooting death of a 21-year-old man on March 16.

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