Letter to the Editor

Concerning process

AtascaderoFebruary 12, 2014 

As a psychologist who has worked in the criminal justice system, I would have several questions concerning Officer Albert Beattie’s termination from the Arroyo Grande Police Department for essentially not agreeing to go back to the police psychologist who had found him uncooperative in a fitness-for-duty interview thereby “preventing verifiable results.”

1. Why can an arbitrator not help choose a professional person with whom Officer Beattie would feel more comfortable discussing the concerns raised?

2. Was the role of trauma from exposure to life threatening incidents addressed? It appears that Officer Beattie had undergone very serious prior work-related stressful events. Those events in and of themselves could have caused some psychological changes that might have been addressed by, for example, a retirement due to on-the-job/occupational caused stress. As a matter of humanity to an individual, a better outcome could occur.

The use of power to achieve a verdict is not the solution. Rather, an attempt should be made to understand the issues that led to the event in which an officer made, if accurately reported, a comment that justifiably indicated concern as to his fitness for duty. It was the process used to obtain this verdict that is of concern.

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