Two Medford Police officers could face suspension after fighting last month during roll call for the night shift, according to Chief Leo Sacco, Jr. He expects a ruling by Friday.
Citing the ongoing probe, Sacco wouldn't name the officers but did say that one man punched the other during roll call on Sunday, July 26 at around 3:30 p.m., prompting a brief fracas before the other three officers in the room separated them.
"It was a matter of a one-punch situation," Sacco said, adding that investigators have seen a videotape of the incident and interviewed the officers who fought.
The officer who threw the first punch was sent home that night and remains on administrative leave with pay. The second officer has not been disciplined. Sacco said both men could face suspensions of at least five days without pay, though they'd have the option to appeal.
"Both officers are remorseful that it happened," he said. "They're both good officers."
Sacco identified the officer who threw the first punch as a 26-year-veteran of the force. He said that in May, the officer was barred from construction details for a year, after he violated department policy by placing himself on a detail in February. According to protocol, a sergeant or shift supervisor must schedule details, for which officers receive overtime pay.
"February is usually a quiet month for details, so a lot of people felt affected by this," Sacco said.
He didn't know if the detail incident sparked the roll call fight, but said the officer who threw the first punch may have been on edge after losing a year of assignments.
"You're talking several thousands of dollars that he'll be losing this year," Sacco said, adding that the officer may have taken offense at a detail-related joke. "Sometimes comments are made not at the most appropriate time."