1. #26
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    This is from the original article at the top of this thread.

    According to Beverly's 911 policy, dispatchers are supposed to do three things:

    * Determine the exact location where emergency assistance is required.

    * Dispatch the appropriate services to the emergency.

    * Remain on the line with the caller for as long as it is necessary to satisfy the emergency.

    Based on the tape and other information provided by police, it appears Raymond Beals did not adhere to the second and third parts of the policy.
    Also, the article clearly states that he is a Patrolman, not a dispatcher.

    The last time that I checked, it was mandatory for a graduate of a police academy TO BE A FRIGGIN' ADULT! SOP's tell you the proper accepted way to do things. The SOP's would look like an encyclopedia if it addressed all the things NOT to do.


    What I have been able to piece together is----the first call you heard was the inital 911 call. This guy left the station, his son meanwhile forced his way in there stabbed her then himself. Hence you see the mention of the second 911 call. She died 3 days later----from the wounds she got that night. This lady lived in an upstairs apartment---thats how loud she was screaming.The article I posted does not do a very good job describing this murder---nor is really about the murder.
    Are you sure about this? You're saying he broke in again after the cop left the same night and killed her?

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    Jesse, quit while you are ahead. This has NOTHING to do with SOP's and everything to do with a cop father trying to cover his criminal son's *****. It's a pretty cut and dry situation with the motivation behind hanging up on the caller and tending to the situation himself.


    I don't think that a firefighter would get a call saying HIS house was burning down and try to extinguish it himself
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    I can't think of any place where a FF would take a phone call, and respond by himself to a fire. that's just an absurd scenario, and your comparing apples to oranges.

    You see, I don't know. I never said I did. All I know is that the cop did not do his job. I never said it would have prevented the homicide. I said it MAY have prevented the homicide.
    George, your right. he did not do his job. if someone else has responded, a homicide might have been prevented. or it might not have. all we have is the info from this article, which from what stm4710 says, doesn't describe the murder very well. the bottom line is we can't say for sure what would have happened if propoer protocol was followed.
    Last edited by DrParasite; 12-08-2003 at 01:40 PM.
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    Default some other articles

    from http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...ves_questions/ on 12/02/03

    BEVERLY -- The day after Thanksgiving, Beverly Police Officer Raymond Beals responded to a domestic disturbance call with an unusual twist: It involved his son. Jason Beals, 34, was arguing with Lori Corbett, his girlfriend, and Corbett's mother had called 911, asking police to get him out of the house.

    The officer, who was working the evening shift, escorted his son from the house on Essex Street and advised Corbett, 26, that she had the right to take out a restraining order against Jason Beals, police said yesterday. According to Police Chief John A. Cassola, Raymond Beals told the other officers on duty Friday that "peace had been restored."

    But yesterday morning, another 911 call brought police once more to the neat bungalow to find Corbett dead and Jason Beals dying, in what authorities believe was a murder-suicide. Both had been stabbed multiple times, police said. Beals later died at Beverly Hospital. Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett said there are no other suspects.

    Beverly police are investigating the handling of the initial 911 call, which came in around 7 p.m. Friday. The incident was not logged in police records in accordance with department policy, according to a statement issued yesterday by Beverly Lieutenant Mark Ray. When asked whether department policy allows officers to answer calls involving relatives, Cassola said, "We are looking into that now."

    Yesterday, Corbett's family, along with specialists on policing domestic violence, blasted the department for allowing Beals to handle a call involving his son.

    "That's just poor judgment," said Edward M. Merrick, president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association. "Generally speaking, we have to be objective and do things independently, and it's implausible to think you can be objective when it involves your family. That's too bad. That's really too bad."

    [background info cut]

    Outside the house on Essex Street yesterday, an aunt of Lori Corbett said her family was angry that Beals was not permanently barred from the house. "That should have been an emergency," said the aunt, who asked not to be named. "If they had done that, today might not have happened."

    Without a restraining order, which neither Corbett nor her mother had sought as of yesterday morning, authorities would have had to arrest Jason Beals to keep him out of the house, where he had lived for several years. Police did not say where Beals went after the Friday night dispute or when he returned. And it is unclear how volatile the argument was, or whether it involved physical violence or other factors that could have justified an arrest.

    Beals's family may have been trying to address the problem in their own way, according to George, who has known Corbett since she was 12. George said Jason Beals's stepmother had been planning to go with Corbett yesterday morning to get a restraining order.

    But from a police policy standpoint, Rod Reder, vice president of the National Institute of Crime Prevention in Tampa and an international teacher of domestic violence police tactics, said it was "just ludicrous" that Raymond Beals took the call.

    "He can't be an independent officer. It's plain and simple," Reder said. "He's emotionally involved. And who wants to arrest their son? And just the appearance that he would side with the son is harmful." In addition, he said, domestic violence calls are typically volatile and known to be of great danger to officers, so having at least two responders present helps ensure safety.

    State guidelines for officers responding to domestic violence situations call for two officers to be dispatched "whenever possible." The Boston Police Department specifically mandates that two officers respond.
    taken from http://www.cmonitor.com/stories/news..._07_2003.shtml on 12/02/03
    Beals was the son of Beverly police Officer Raymond Beals, who responded to a 911 call Friday night from Corbett's mother. At the woman's request, officer Beals removed his son from the Corbetts' home, police said.

    Friday's 911 call was not logged in accordance with department policy, and the call is under investigation. Officer Beals left his assigned post at the 911 dispatch center to respond to the call himself, said Beverly police Chief John Cassola.

    "The indication was that there was not an arrest (on Friday night)," Blodgett said. "Beverly police are looking into" it.

    The call was the first from the home, and there were no restraining orders issued for its occupants, Blodgett said.
    http://news.bostonherald.com/localRe...?articleid=268
    Slain woman's kin: Cop didn't tell her of emergency rights
    By Laurel J. Sweet
    Thursday, December 4, 2003

    The aunt of a Beverly woman brutally slain Monday by her suicidal beau said her niece would never have waited a weekend to take out a restraining order against him had she known she was entitled to emergency protection - even when the courts are closed.

    ``Let others know this is available to them,'' Corinne Sirianni said yesterday as she helped her sister, Gail Corbett, with the grim chore of scrubbing her daughter's spilled blood from her home.

    ``I think (Lori Corbett's murder) could have been avoided,'' she said, ``had the right steps been taken.''

    But officer Raymond Beals, the Beverly cop under investigation for answering Gail Corbett's prophetic plea for help Friday night in the midst of her daughter's boyfriend's home-wrecking rampage, was also Jason Beals' father. And though he told Corbett, 26, of her right to act against his son, Sirianni said he neglected to say she could do so on the spot.

    Instead, Beals sent Jason, 34, to New Hampshire to cool off, then broke department rules by omitting Corbett's 911 call from the police log.

    ``She was going to court Monday morning,'' Sirianni said. ``She e-mailed her boss Sunday night that she had some personal stuff going on she needed to take care of.''

    Jason Beals apparently killed himself Monday morning after hacking Corbett to death with a knife 90 minutes before she could have applied for a restraining order in Salem District Court.

    ``He did the wrong thing,'' Sirianni said of Raymond Beals, 63. But she stopped short of calling for his resignation.

    ``He's lost his son,'' she said wearily, ``and he's going to have to have it on his mind that his son took another life.''

    Steve O'Connell, spokesman for Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett, said Corbett was entitled to go to the police station and, after filling out some ``brief'' forms, including an affidavit attesting to her emergency, have an officer contact an on-call judge.

    Thirteen years ago, Raymond Beals was among seven officers named in a $4.5 million federal lawsuit brought against the Beverly Police Department by a former female cop. She charged Beals threatened, spit at and verbally abused her. The suit was settled out of court three years later.
    some of the info is a little contradictory, but now we have a little more info to make comments on.
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    from http://www.townonline.com/beverly/ne...er12042003.htm

    Murder-suicide strikes Centerville

    By Melissa J. Varnavas / beverly@cnc.com
    Thursday, December 4, 2003

    According to an autopsy report released Tuesday evening, Beverly resident Lori Corbett, 26, was murdered Monday morning, Dec. 1, by Jason Beals, 34, who then committed suicide.

    Police received a 911 hang-up call from 464 Essex St., at 8:23 a.m., Monday morning. An officer responded, saw through a rear window a woman lying on the kitchen floor, and called for backup. Three Beverly police cruisers and a state police cruiser arrived at the scene. The officers kicked in the door and found Corbett with multiple stab wounds. They located Beals in the basement of the home with a self-inflicted would to his chest. Beals was transported to Beverly Hospital where he died shortly after arrival.

    Monday's call was the second 911 summons issued from the home within the past week, Beverly Police Chief John Cassola told reporters at the scene of the crime on Monday.

    According to Cassola, Jason Beals father, Officer Raymond A. Beals Jr., received a 911 call Friday, Nov. 28, while on duty as a dispatch officer. At the time, Lori Corbett's mother, Gail Corbett, also a resident of 464 Essex St., requested assistance in removing Jason Beals from their home.

    Officer Beals left his post, responded to the Centerville home, and removed his son, Cassola said. He allegedly informed the family of their rights to a restraining order. No order was filed. (See related story.)
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    Thanks dan for finding those. The site I got the orginal off of doesnt keep storys beyond the day. Im confused now though,on FOX 25 news at 10 they said corbet was stabbed and died 3 days later in ICU which would lead me to belive she was stabbed the night of the conflict not sunday/monday. Im anxious to read the offcial report now to get exactly what happend..... If it comes out online ill post it.
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    He was assigned to dispatch. He wasn't a dispatcher. He's still a police officer and he still did the wrong thing.

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    He was assigned to dispatch. He wasn't a dispatcher. He's still a police officer and he still did the wrong thing.
    And that's what I was saying. He was wrong.

    George, I wasn't trying to start an argument with you, because I know it's pointless. Just because someone isn't a LEO, doesn't mean what they have to say isn't credible. In fact, I discussed this with a police officer earlier and he said the same thing I was trying to say.

    Even if a restraining order was in place, would the murder-suicide have still happened? Nobody will ever know, but my guess is that it would have. Obviously the guy had some issues and had his motives. A restraining order probably would not have stopped him if he wanted to do it bad enough.

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    Even if a restraining order was in place, would the murder-suicide have still happened? Nobody will ever know, but my guess is that it would have. Obviously the guy had some issues and had his motives. A restraining order probably would not have stopped him if he wanted to do it bad enough.
    Would that victim have died if the ladder had been placed tpo the correct window as specified in the SOP"s. Nobody will ever know.

    You do your damn job. Period. If you don't do your job, you answer for it. There are NO MITIGATING FACTORS.
    George, I wasn't trying to start an argument with you, because I know it's pointless.
    Why? Because you can't sustain your position?

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    Why? Because you can't sustain your position?
    No, King George, I refuse to argue with you because you will argue with a broomstick, and the broomstick is always wrong. That is the bottom line.

    I have much better ways to spend my time and energy than to try to explain something to a stubborn individual who doesn't like to understand others' opinions, unless they are the same as his (which has to be the correct one). Guess what.......... That's why they areOPINIONS............. nobody has a right or wrong opinion.

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    Originally posted by firenresq77


    No, King George, I refuse to argue with you because you will argue with a broomstick, and the broomstick is always wrong. That is the bottom line.

    I have much better ways to spend my time and energy than to try to explain something to a stubborn individual who doesn't like to understand others' opinions, unless they are the same as his (which has to be the correct one). Guess what.......... That's why they areOPINIONS............. nobody has a right or wrong opinion.
    I understand other's opinions. Why do you have such a problem with mine? This is off the track, but you will notice that I do not post on every thread here like smoe people. I post on threads where I have something to add or have an opinion. I fervently believe in my opinions and will defend them.

    I just hope my loyal subjects understand.
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    Originally posted by firenresq77


    No, King George, I refuse to argue with you because you will argue with a broomstick, and the broomstick is always wrong. That is the bottom line.
    hahahahahahahahah!!!!!!! that is a great description of George!!!!

    I'm kind of at a loss for what the arguement is about. We all agree that this officer screwed up. He was assigned dispatch, he took a 911 call about a domestic for his son, and then he left dispatch to respond to the call. He screwed up. there is no argument here.

    The only thing that I think is up for debate is whether or not the botched 911 call directly led to the murder suicide. and none of us can definatively say yes. was there a conflict of interest? yes. again, we all agree on this. if another cop had taken the call, there is a possibility that the sequence of events would have played out exactly as it did.

    Will Internal Affairs lynch this guy? absolutly. will the family sue the department? probably. Is it fair to blame an officer for something that happens 3 days later? something that he didn't expect, and possibly another officer would not have anticipated either? no, I don't htink so.
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    Originally posted by DrParasite


    hahahahahahahahah!!!!!!! that is a great description of George!!!!

    I'm kind of at a loss for what the arguement is about. We all agree that this officer screwed up. He was assigned dispatch, he took a 911 call about a domestic for his son, and then he left dispatch to respond to the call. He screwed up. there is no argument here.

    The only thing that I think is up for debate is whether or not the botched 911 call directly led to the murder suicide. and none of us can definatively say yes. was there a conflict of interest? yes. again, we all agree on this. if another cop had taken the call, there is a possibility that the sequence of events would have played out exactly as it did.

    Will Internal Affairs lynch this guy? absolutly. will the family sue the department? probably. Is it fair to blame an officer for something that happens 3 days later? something that he didn't expect, and possibly another officer would not have anticipated either? no, I don't htink so.
    And that's exactly what I was trying to say.

    (Yeah, I thought that was a perfect description, too!!)

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    Police officer placed on paid leave

    By MARC FORTIER

    Staff writer


    BEVERLY - Patrolman Raymond Beals has been placed on paid leave pending the conclusion of an internal investigation into his response to a 911 call involving his son two weeks ago.

    Beals, a 25-year veteran of the Beverly Police Department, was working as a dispatcher on Nov. 28 when a domestic disturbance call came in from 464 Essex St., where his son Jason Beals lived with his girlfriend, Lori Corbett, and her mother. Instead of logging the call and sending another officer, police said, Beals left the station, took a cruiser to the house, and told his son to leave.

    According to a 911 tape released last week, he also hung up on the 911 caller, even as a woman believed to be Corbett could be heard screaming in the background. Three days later, Corbett died of stab wounds in the same Essex Street house. Police believe Jason Beals killed her before turning the knife on himself in a murder-suicide.

    Mayor Tom Crean said he hasn't decided if Beals will be disciplined, but he didn't think it made sense to have him on the job until the investigation is finished. He said the investigation should be wrapped up by the end of the week.

    Beals, 63, had taken bereavement leave following his son's death, but that ran out on Sunday. As of yesterday, Crean said, Beals was placed on paid administrative leave by Police Chief John Cassola. Crean stressed that this is not a form of suspension.

    "We want time to go through the investigation," he said. "I think just given the fact he lost his son makes it a little difficult to come to work. And we have an open investigation. I don't think anybody who has an open investigation should be at work until that's over."

    Once the investigation is complete, the mayor said he will decide whether Beals should be suspended or fired, or if he should be disciplined at all.

    "At this point I'm not going to make any decision one way or another until the investigation is over," he said. "I don't want to make any rush to judgment based on rumor or nonfactual information. I want firm facts."

    The investigation into Beals' response to the 911 call on Nov. 28 is being handled internally by members of the Police Department's criminal investigation division, Crean said. If he is not satisfied with the results of the investigation, the mayor reserved the right to call in an outside investigator to look into the situation.

    "If I deem it necessary to bring in an outside investigator, I will at that point," he said. "Anything's possible at this point."

    Though Cassola said Beals acted alone, without informing his supervisor that he was responding to the 911 call, Crean wouldn't rule out the possibility that other officers might face disciplinary action. But he said at present, Beals is the only officer who has been placed on leave.
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    Murdered woman's father blasts police

    By PAUL LEIGHTON

    Staff writer


    BEVERLY - Lori Corbett's father blasted the Beverly Police Department yesterday for its handling of his daughter's murder, and said he's convinced the problem is more widespread than one officer acting alone.

    David Corbett said he believed that Patrolman Raymond Beals would protect his daughter, after Beals responded to a 911 call on Nov. 28 reporting that his son, Jason, was in an altercation with Lori Corbett. Three days later, Jason Beals stabbed 26-year-old Lori Corbett to death, then killed himself at their home on Essex Street.

    "He's a police officer, and I was sure that she'd be protected," David Corbett said. "More care should've been taken to protect her life."

    David Corbett, who is divorced from Lori's mother and lives in Newmarket, N.H., said he visited his daughter in Beverly on the Sunday before her death. Earlier that day, Lori Corbett had met with Raymond Beals at his home, David Corbett said.

    "I felt confident that Jason Beals' father was going to handle it," he said.

    Corbett also disputed the contention by police that Raymond Beals acted alone when he responded to the 911 call on the Friday before the murder-suicide. Beals was working as the dispatcher when he answered an emergency call from Gail Corbett, Lori's mother.

    According to a transcript of the 911 tape, Raymond Beals hung up on Gail Corbett while she was still talking. He then left the station to go to the house himself. Police Chief John Cassola has said Beals told fellow officers he was leaving to take care of a problem with his son, but did not say the problem was part of a 911 call. Cassola said an internal investigation into Beals' response to the call should be complete by later this week.

    David Corbett said he can't believe no one else in the station that night knew that Beals was answering a 911 call involving his own son.

    "From what I understand, he left the station and jumped into a police cruiser. How could he do that without anybody else knowing that, unless it's just total mismanagement on the part of the whole Police Department - which it is," Corbett said. "I'm upset because I feel like I was let down by the Police Department."

    Corbett said he plans to contact a lawyer to explore the possibility of legal action against Beverly police.

    Mother responds to tape

    Also yesterday, Gail Corbett said she now believes that Raymond Beals was the officer who answered her 911 call. Corbett had said last week that she was convinced Raymond Beals did not answer the call because she did not recognize his voice.

    But after listening to a recording of the 911 tape yesterday, she changed her mind. She said she could tell it was Beals at the point when she said Jason Beals was causing the problem and the police officer responded, 'Ohhh-kay. What's he doing?'"

    Gail Corbett also said she didn't realize that Raymond Beals had hung up on her until she read a transcript of the call in Saturday's Salem News. She said there was no click or dial tone, just dead air, so she assumed that police were on the way to her house.

    "To see in the paper that he hung up on me, that hurt," she said. "He didn't know what predicament he was walking into."

    Gail Corbett said she was about to identify Jason Beals as Officer Raymond Beals' son when she was cut off. On the tape she can be heard saying, "And off ..." before the tape abruptly ends.

    "I just stood there holding the phone and thinking, 'What else is he going to ask now?'" she said.

    Gail Corbett has said that Raymond Beals came to the house within five to seven minutes, and she praised him for his handling of the situation. She said Raymond Beals ordered his son to leave the house immediately and demanded that he turn his key over to Gail Corbett. She said Raymond Beals told his son he could stay on the couch at his house for two days. Instead, Jason Beals went to New Hampshire to stay with his sister.

    Gail Corbett said she has sympathy for Raymond Beals because he lost his son. She said Beals requested that a priest be sent to her house on Monday after her daughter's death, a gesture that she called "very nice." She also said a religious card signed "The Beals family" was dropped off at her daughter's funeral last Friday.

    "I always held Raymond in high regard," Gail Corbett said. "He was always able to control Jason."
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    I totally support HAWC's wanting to talk to the chief. When I did my ride alongs/internship with my pd I got to see first hand the work/support HAWC gives to these women and children,for nothing so that they maybe safe.

    Victim agency requests meeting with police

    By PAUL LEIGHTON

    Staff writer


    BEVERLY - The head of an agency that helps victims of domestic abuse has requested a meeting with Beverly police to discuss how the department handled a 911 call from a mother whose daughter ended up murdered three days later.

    Candace Waldron, executive director of Help for Abused Women and Children, said she plans to give Police Chief John Cassola a list of recommendations for how police should handle domestic abuse cases.

    "We're looking at all the events that led to the tragedy," Waldron said. "I think they know there were missteps, certainly. We're definitely going to be on it."

    Beverly police are facing questions about the night of Nov. 28, when Patrolman Raymond Beals answered a 911 call about an altercation involving his son, Jason Beals. Raymond Beals, who was working as a dispatcher that night, drove to the scene himself in a police cruiser and told his son to leave.

    Three days later, Jason Beals returned to the home and stabbed his girlfriend, Lori Corbett, to death, then killed himself. Raymond Beals has been placed on paid leave while the department conducts an internal investigation into how the call was handled.

    Waldron would not detail HAWC's recommendations until she meets with Cassola. But she said police are sometimes reluctant to inform women they can obtain an emergency restraining order on nights and weekends. The 911 call involving Lori Corbett came on a Friday night, and she was killed on Monday morning.

    "Did Lori know she could have gotten an emergency restraining order Friday night?" Waldron asked. "Did Raymond Beals tell her that?"

    Waldron said police can contact an on-call judge at home on nights and weekends to request an emergency restraining order on behalf of a victim. The judge can issue the restraining order over the telephone. Police then fill out a restraining order for the victim, notify the other person that an order has been obtained and instruct him to stay away.

    The emergency restraining order is good until Monday morning when court opens. At that time, the woman must go to court to get a regular restraining order, said Deborah Swanson, a legal advocate for HAWC.

    Waldron said HAWC has had "a great deal of cooperation" from Beverly police in the past. She said the department helped apply for a grant that pays for HAWC to have a full-time counselor working at the Beverly police station. Beverly is the only one of the 23 communities served by HAWC with an in-house advocate.

    "They knew they needed help (dealing with domestic abuse cases)," Waldron said. "They've all been trained. It's really a shame that one officer's judgment has had this effect."

    Waldron said many people are surprised when a relationship such as the one between Lori Corbett and Jason Beals ends in violence. Gail Corbett, Lori's mother, has said she was not aware of any physical violence on the part of Jason Beals toward her daughter.

    But Waldron said there were warning signs, including the fact that Jason Beals had just lost his job. Waldron said unemployment is the No. 1 predictor of lethal violence in relationships.

    Jason Beals had also smashed the glass in a framed picture two weeks earlier. On the weekend before the murder-suicide, he reportedly took $4,000 from a bank account he shared with Lori Corbett and went on a spending spree with their credit cards.

    Waldron said those are all signs of a potential batterer losing control.

    "We try to ignore domestic violence and minimize it, so it always surprises us," Waldron said. "When enough indicators start to come together, it creates a potentially lethal situation. If we're not paying attention, something like this can happen."

    Waldron said highly publicized domestic violence cases like this one can shed light on the problem, but the media coverage can also have a "chilling downside."

    "All abusing partners on the North Shore are saying, 'See that. That could be you. You could be next,'" Waldron said. "The stories are going to trigger panic or fear in the hearts of someone who is controlled by another. But there are ways to get out safely."

    Anyone with questions about domestic violence or a potentially abusive relationship can call HAWC's 24-hour hotline at (978) 744-6841.
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    Default What Would You Have Done???

    Let's pretend you are a police officer watching the desk for whatever reason. You get a call to your sons address for a domestic disturbance. What would you do? Would you go there to try and head it off to try and keep your own flesh and blood out of trouble or would you send another crew?
    I don't know what I would do for sure but I think I would do whatever I could to help out my son. What that guy did was not out of the question I am sure law enforcement personnel do it everyday.

    You can sit here and bash him all you want but realistically I bet the majority of people here would do the same thing if you were in his situation.

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    I can honestly say that if that was my kid he'd have to deal with the consequences. I firmly believe that by bailing someone out when they've screwed up does not teach them any lessons. I've always told my son, if you want to do a crime then you had better be prepared to do the time that goes with it cuz I won't bail your ***** out.
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    Default Re: What Would You Have Done???

    Originally posted by PFD109NFD107
    Let's pretend you are a police officer watching the desk for whatever reason. You get a call to your sons address for a domestic disturbance. What would you do? Would you go there to try and head it off to try and keep your own flesh and blood out of trouble or would you send another crew?
    I don't know what I would do for sure but I think I would do whatever I could to help out my son. What that guy did was not out of the question I am sure law enforcement personnel do it everyday.

    You can sit here and bash him all you want but realistically I bet the majority of people here would do the same thing if you were in his situation.
    Just before you became a pretend police officer, you put your hand on a pretend Bible and swore to administer the law impartially and justly. Because of the overwhelming inate desire to help your offspring, the ethical, legal and moral thing to do in this situation is to send another car. You can go there, too. But with another officer or two handling the call, it removes the implications that this case has.

    Law enforcement officers do not deal with this problem everyday. Officers have the authority to use discretion and extend a courtesy to someone to not give them more problems. Try asking a PO out of all the cars he stops, how many he writes tickets for. You will probably find that this is a low number. When juveniles get in trouble, officers have the discretion to conduct a "station house adjustment", where minor matters are dealt with in-house in conjunction with the parents. These situations are not only extended to relatives, but are also extended to people they don't know who have just screwed up and deserve another chance. I am relatively certain that most of you can think of a situation where you, for whatever reason, were given a break by a LEO.

    Simply put, if another officer had handled this call, it MAY have been handled differently and it MAY have prevented the death. There is no way to tell. But at a bare minimum, there would not be a pall of suspicion over this officer.

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    I hate to say it, and I'll deny it if anyone ever brings it up, but I agree with George on this one.

    I'm not a police officer, never have been, never wanted to be. but there is a major conflict of interest here. but your damn right, if i'm a cop, and my kid gets in trouble, I want to be there. but you need to have a second officer there, because of the conflict of interest, and so you do have and uninvolved opinion.

    if another officer had been there things might have played out differently. they might have played out exactly the same. but at least with a second officer, you can get another "expert opinion" when called to defend your actions.
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    Incoming mayor calls for review of Police Department

    By Marc Fortier

    Staff writer


    BEVERLY - Incoming Mayor Bill Scanlon said yesterday he plans to conduct an outside review of the Police Department, and is willing to sacrifice his top aide to help pay for it.

    The mayor-elect, who will be sworn in Jan. 5, said he plans to eliminate the $60,000-a-year chief of staff position and use the savings to pay for an in-depth, outside study of the Police Department.

    The need for such a study became clear, Scanlon said, following an incident three weeks ago in which Patrolman Raymond Beals responded to a domestic disturbance call involving his son. Three days later, his son killed himself and his girlfriend in what was ruled a murder-suicide.

    "I think this recent incident added some emphasis," he said. "It's been talked about for a very long time. We owe it to everybody to take a look."

    Having an unbiased person take a look at the department, he said, should help the city "see what's good and what could be better."

    At the same time, he stressed that "there are many fine employees in the Police Department."

    The study "is just a sensible thing to do," he said, based on a string of problems that have occurred in recent years, including claims of sexual harassment within the department, the drunken driving arrest of a patrolman, and allegations that the former police chief choked a patrolman.

    Scanlon stopped short of saying that the department needs fixing. "That's one of the reasons why we want to get this look-see," he said. "Are we dealing with things that are random? I prefer to wait and see."

    Studies have been proposed in the past whenever problems cropped up, but none was ever done due to a lack of funding. By supplying a funding source, Scanlon is hoping the city will finally be able to pay someone to take an objective look at the department.

    He hasn't decided who will do the study, but said he will work with the City Council to find someone suitable.

    City Councilor Bill Coughlin, who submitted orders in 1993 and 2002 calling for an outside study of the Police Department, lauded Scanlon's plan yesterday.

    "I fully approve," he said. "One hundred percent."

    Coughlin said he had planned to submit an order at the first council meeting of 2004 calling for such a study, and will probably do so still. "It will have to have the blessing of the City Council anyway," he explained.

    He said it is too bad that it took a tragedy like this month's murder-suicide to push the study forward, but he is glad something is finally going to happen.

    "It's kind of a sad way to get it," Coughlin said. "But I think that not only this, but some other things have happened that showed there seems to be something like a virus. It just keeps showing up. Until you're able to get in there and root it out completely, you're not going to be able to be as effective as you might be."

    It isn't clear how much an outside study would cost.

    Kathleen O'Toole, a former state trooper and secretary of public safety who now works as a consultant evaluating police departments, said a study could cost anywhere from under $50,000 up to $100,000 depending on how comprehensive it is.

    But before spending that kind of money, she said the city should look around and see if there are qualified people within the community who would volunteer their services to help evaluate the Police Department.

    "Sometimes the best reports or studies result from groups of pro bono contributors," O'Toole said. "Too often people race out there and look for a high-priced consultant. It's a matter of looking within your own community first. Sort of a blue ribbon commission."

    She recommended a diverse group, featuring people with government and law enforcement backgrounds, plus academic and private-sector contributors. A panel of six or fewer people is typically the most easily managed, she said.

    As the push for an outside evaluation gains momentum, Beals' status with the department remains in limbo. As of yesterday, the city still hadn't taken any disciplinary action against the veteran police officer, who has been on paid administrative leave since Dec. 8.

    Mayor Tom Crean said he is "hoping to have something this week," but lawyers for the city and for Beals are still hammering out the details.
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    Beals retires, no disciplinary action taken

    By Marc Fortier and Paul Leighton

    Staff writer


    BEVERLY -- Patrolman Raymond Beals will retire rather than face disciplinary action for responding to a 911 call involving his son, three days before Jason Beals stabbed his girlfriend to death and then took his own life.

    The decision to allow Raymond Beals to retire early with no punishment infuriated the family of Lori Corbett, the 26-year-old woman who was murdered on Dec. 1.

    "I am outraged. That shouldn't happen," Lori's mother, Gail Corbett said. "I hold him (Raymond Beals) just as much accountable as Jason. I'm ashamed of this city and the people who let him retire with no disciplinary action."

    Raymond Beals was working as a dispatcher on Nov. 28 when a domestic disturbance call came in from 464 Essex St., where his son lived with Lori Corbett and her mother. Instead of logging the call and sending another officer, he left the station, took a cruiser to the house, and told his son to leave.

    According to a 911 tape, he also hung up on the caller, even as a woman believed to be Lori Corbett could be heard screaming in the background. Three days later, Jason Beals stabbed Lori Corbett to death in the same Essex Street house before turning the knife on himself in a murder-suicide.

    The city had planned to announce Beals' future with the department today. But after a Salem News reporter overheard Beals telling Human Resources Director Tom L'Italien at City Hall yesterday that he was retiring, the city issued its press release a day early.

    Beals, 63, had been on paid administrative leave for the past four weeks.

    City Solicitor Peter Gilmore said Beals was encouraged to retire, but the city was prepared to take disciplinary action if he refused to do so. He said that could have been anything from a suspension to termination.

    "There were some clear violations of department policy," Gilmore said. "There were errors in judgment that may not have been a violation of written policy, but clearly indicated poor judgment on his part."

    Beals, who declined comment yesterday, will retire effective Jan. 6. Gilmore said Beals had planned to retire this summer anyway. According to the city's Retirement Board, the 26-year department veteran will receive a pension of around $40,000 a year, roughly 80 percent of his $51,000 annual salary.

    "He'll draw pension from the city, which he would have gotten anyway," Gilmore said. "Even if we had gone to disciplinary action and he had been terminated, he would have got his pension."

    Since the alleged violations of department policy were not criminal, Gilmore said Beals has the right to retire by state law. He said the city could not withhold Beals' pension unless he had engaged in some type of criminal activity.

    "He just chooses to retire," Gilmore said. "He puts in his papers and says, 'I'm leaving.' There's no point in the city taking any disciplinary action. I'm not even sure if we could even if we wanted to."

    A spokeswoman for the state Board of Retirement agreed with Gilmore that if an employee is of retirement age and wants to retire, disciplinary action would serve no purpose. She also confirmed that withholding pension is only done in extreme cases where criminal conduct is involved.

    Mayor Tom Crean called Beals' retirement "the most appropriate thing that could happen here." But he said the incident raises concerns about the police department's policies for responding to 911 calls.

    Even though he won't be punished, Gilmore said he doesn't think Beals got off easy. "He leaves his job as a career police officer with a huge black mark on his record," he said. "He has to deal with it when he looks in the mirror every day."

    David Corbett, Lori's father and Gail Corbett's ex-husband, called the decision to allow Beals to retire, "very appalling. This man had my daughter's life in his hands and did absolutely nothing to protect her." He said the family is considering legal action.

    Corinne Cirianni, Gail Corbett's sister and Lori's aunt, said it is unfair that Beals received four weeks paid administrative leave, and then was allowed to retire with no punishment, while Gail Corbett continues to work three jobs.

    "He's been on paid leave all these weeks," Cirianni said. "My sister was working the day they buried Lori."

    Cirianni, who lives in Florida but has returned to Beverly to help her sister, said the family is not surprised that Beals got off lightly after officials took so long to make a decision.

    "We knew," she said. "They just take care of their own in this town. How would they feel if it was their child?"
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    Alleged threat raises questions on Beals' investigation

    By Paul Leighton

    Staff writer


    BEVERLY - Two days before he stabbed Lori Corbett and himself to death, Jason Beals told his father that he wanted to kill himself and "take someone with him," according to a statement that a friend of Lori Corbett made to Beverly police.

    The alleged threat raises questions about whether Patrolman Raymond Beals knew about the threat and failed to take action to protect Lori Corbett. And it raises questions about the thoroughness of the Beverly Police Department's investigation into his actions on the days before the Dec. 1 murder.

    Police Chief John Cassola acknowledged that police were told about the alleged threat when they interviewed a friend of Lori Corbett after the murder-suicide.

    The friend told police that Lori Corbett was at Raymond Beals' house the Saturday before the murder, when Jason called his father on the telephone and made the threat. Lori told the friend about it the next day, according to the report of his interview with the police.

    But Cassola said that testimony is "second- or third-party hearsay."

    "There's nobody alive that can tell us" if that threat was made, Cassola said.

    But Cassola acknowledged he did not know if police ever asked Raymond Beals about it.

    "I don't know that answer," Cassola said.

    David Corbett, Lori's father, said police have failed to adequately investigate Raymond Beals. He charged that police have erected a "blue wall" to protect one of their own from any punishment.

    Three days before the murder-suicide, Beals had answered a 911 call to the police station from Lori Corbett's mother about a struggle between Jason Beals and his girlfriend, Lori Corbett. Raymond Beals hung up on Gail Corbett in mid-sentence, left the police station to respond to the call himself, removed his son from the house and failed to log the incident in police records.

    But he will face no disciplinary action. Mayor Tom Crean announced Tuesday that the city will instead allow Beals to retire early. City Solicitor Peter Gilmore said there was "no point in the city taking any disciplinary action" since Beals has the right to retire because his actions were not criminal.

    The decision outraged Lori Corbett's parents, who said Raymond Beals knew about his son's death threat and failed to protect their daughter. David Corbett said his daughter was at Raymond Beals' house at the time Jason Beals made the alleged threat.

    "I'm upset that this guy is going to walk away without a slap on the wrist," David Corbett said. "He had the life of my daughter in his hands. He's as much responsible for her death as his son."

    Beals could not be reached for comment.

    In their investigation into Raymond Beals, Cassola said police interviewed him at the hospital on the day of the murder-suicide and also relied on a report written by Beals himself. But Cassola said he did not know whether anyone questioned Beals later, after they had been told of the alleged threat by Jason Beals to kill himself and someone else.

    David Corbett said he also told police about the alleged threat because his daughter had told him about it the day before she died. But Cassola said David Corbett told police only that Jason Beals had threatened to kill himself.

    Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said the investigation into Raymond Beals has been handled by Beverly police because there has been no evidence of criminal conduct on the part of Beals.

    But, Blodgett said, "If anybody has any information, we obviously would look into it."

    Blodgett declined to comment on what action his office would take about allegations that Raymond Beals knew about his son's threat.

    "I don't want to speculate," Blodgett said. "If someone has information concerning inappropriate behavior that rises to a criminal level and they want to come forward, we will speak to them and talk to them right away."
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    Retiring cop got $4,650 in perks, vacation

    By Marc Fortier

    Staff writer


    BEVERLY - By allowing Patrolman Raymond Beals to retire in January instead of December, the city gave the departing police officer what amounts to a $4,650 bonus on his way out the door.

    After a month-long investigation, the city announced on Dec. 29 that Beals had decided to retire rather than face disciplinary action for responding to a 911 call involving his son, three days before Jason Beals stabbed his girlfriend to death and took his own life. But instead of retiring right then, Beals' retirement was effective Jan. 6, a week later.

    Being on the city's payroll for that extra week - a week in which he did not work, because he was on paid administrative leave - made Beals eligible to take his full 24 days of 2004 vacation pay, a total of $3,833. By contract, city employees are eligible for the entire year's vacation on Jan. 1. As a 26-year employee, Beals got 24 days of vacation each year.

    On top of the vacation pay, Beals received $319 for two holidays in January 2004 -- New Year's Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, even though he was no longer on the city payroll on Jan. 19 when Martin Luther King Jr. Day came around. He also received a $110 firearms training stipend for the first quarter of 2004, although he did not do any firearms training, and $450 in longevity pay - half of the $900 he was due for the entire year.

    Had he retired one week earlier, Beals would not have received any of that money.

    "He made out," said City Councilor Don Martin, who has taken issue with other departing city employees who were paid for 2004 vacation time on their way out of City Hall. "To me, it's abusing the system. It's another glaring example that we need to change this system."

    Beals refused to comment on his retirement package.

    Beals, 63, was working as a dispatcher on Nov. 28 when a domestic disturbance call came in from 464 Essex St., where his son lived with Lori Corbett and her mother. Instead of logging the call and sending another officer, he left the station, took a cruiser to the house, and told his son to leave.

    According to a 911 tape, he also hung up on the caller, even as a woman believed to be Lori Corbett could be heard screaming in the background. Three days later, Jason Beals stabbed Lori Corbett to death in the same Essex Street house before turning the knife on himself in a murder-suicide.

    'Appalled'

    Lori Corbett's family was angry when they learned that Raymond Beals would be allowed to retire and face no disciplinary action. But the fact that he received pay for 2004 vacation and other perks incensed them even more.

    "I'm appalled," said David Corbett, Lori's father. "Like I said before, they don't even give him a slap on the wrist. Nothing happened to this guy. It amazes me that the city of Beverly has allowed this to take place, which is nothing but a slap in the face to the family.

    "It really hurts me inside to think that somebody could get away with this with no punishment. It says to me if you're a member of the city or a member of the Police Department, we're going to overlook this. That shouldn't be."

    Gail Corbett, Lori's mother and David Corbett's ex-wife, agreed, saying, "He got rewarded pretty well."

    But then-Mayor Thomas Crean, who has come under fire himself for taking $7,000 in vacation pay when he left office, said he had no control over Beals' retirement date. He said the city was going ahead with plans to take disciplinary action against Beals when the officer decided to retire.

    "Basically, he picked the day that he wanted to retire," Crean said. "We can't mandate a day to retire."

    He acknowledged he could have fired Beals, but said the ensuing litigation would have cost the city far more than $4,650. And if Beals had won, he would have been able to continue working for the city.

    "I think for him and the city it was better that he retire, that's for sure," Crean said. "Like I said, going after him for anything could have taken years, and it would have cost us a lot more anyway."

    Not an issue

    Former City Solicitor Peter Gilmore admitted that he never even considered the fact that by retiring on Jan. 6, Beals would be entitled to thousands of dollars more. "It really wasn't even an issue," he said. "Nobody ever thought about it."

    Even if they had, he said, "We have no control over when he retired. There's nothing we could have done. Yeah, I suppose he could have been suspended, but I don't think that would have had any significant impact on anything. I know it probably hurts people and aggravates people, but we couldn't look at it in that nice vacuum. We had to try to deal with it in some realistic way."

    Crean said he isn't sure how the Jan. 6 retirement date was arrived at. "The chief negotiated it," he said.

    Police Chief John Cassola refused to discuss the matter, saying "I'm not going to relive the Beals situation with you. He's retired, and he's no longer on the department."

    In addition to the $4,650 he received for 2004 benefits, Beals got another $15,971 for 100 unused sick days accumulated during his nearly three decades with the department, and $2,555 for 16 days of unused 2003 vacation, even though he was out for out for the last 3 1/2 weeks of December on paid administrative leave. He would have been entitled to that money, however, even if he had retired in December.

    As a retired city employee, Beals receives a pension of around $40,000, 80 percent of his $51,000 annual salary. He was the city's 22nd highest paid employee last year, earning $90,944 in salary, overtime and detail pay, just $3,000 less than the mayor.
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