Sometimes, it takes weeks to get a full response from the Worcester Police Department.
And sometimes, they email out a press release responding to an article that hasn’t even been printed yet.
In response to a Telegram and Gazette inquiry into Police Chief Gary Gemme’s brother Al Gemme’s salary and benefits, the Chief just issued a statement to Boston and Worcester media saying he is totally removed from any oversight of his brother, and putting the “other” Gemme’s compensation in comparison to his colleagues. (He is 106th overall).
Al Gemme is a regular target of off-the-record and whispered complaints from other police officers who allege preferential treatment.
“Just as it would be inappropriate and unethical for me to be directly or indirectly involved in the compensation of Gemme, it would be equally inappropriate for me to comment publicly on Gemme’s earnings. Therefore, I have provided the following information for your review and if you should have additional questions regarding Gemme, I would direct you to the appropriate deputy chief,” writes Gemme to City Manager Michael O’Brien, the original recepient of the letter.
The full letter below the jump.
Dear Mr. Manager:
On August 20, 2009 the Director of Human Resources, Kathy Johnson informed me that a reporter for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette submitted a public record request for salary and wage records of Officer Alan Gemme (Gemme). As you know, Gemme is my brother and he is currently assigned to the Traffic Division and on a part-time basis in the police garage. It is important that you have a complete understanding of Gemme’s position in the chain of command, the supervision and oversight of his performance, and the overtime authorization authority.
There are four layers of supervision that separate me from Gemme. In fact, I have removed myself from any relationship to him in the organization. In the event that a serious complaint is filed against Gemme for a violation of a rule or regulation the findings would be made by Deputy Police Chief Mark Roche. In the normal course of his duties in the traffic division he is supervised by Sergeant John Fallavolitta, Lieutenant Timothy Walsh, Captain Jack Harrington, and Deputy Police Chief Giulio Fusaro. Gemme holds a position in the traffic division as a result of his seniority and a negotiated union contract that requires positions in the uniform divisions to be posted and bids based upon seniority as a basis for selection. As a traffic officer he is part of the on-call accident reconstruction team and a motorcycle officer, both roles provide opportunities for additional compensation through regular and grant overtime. All overtime is authorized and approved through his chain of command.
Again, as you are aware, the department has historically, for over twenty-seven years, used police personnel in the garage to off-set the limited number of mechanics (2) and to deal with the high volume of repairs that are required to keep a fleet of approximately 250 vehicles operational. The management of the garage is the responsibility of Lieutenant Lawrence Sullivan who reports to Deputy Chief Sean Fleming. Based upon the weekly workload and the type of repairs, Lieutenant Sullivan will assign Gemme or other officers to work in the garage. Gemme is a Ford Certified Mechanic and is limited to working between 8 and 12 hours per week in the garage. Gemme for the past 2 years and 9 months averages about $20,000 a year working as a police mechanic/auto-body technician. The current annual salary of a mechanic is $43,180 plus fringe benefits.
To put Gemme’s compensation in perspective, during the current calendar year his compensation ranks him 106th in total earnings at $78,418.99; 36th in total overtime at $31,602.17. In 2007, Gemme worked 433 hours in the garage and earned $17,509.54; in 2008, he worked 528.5 hours in the garage and earned $21,412.53; and during the current calendar year he has worked 484 hours in the garage and earned $19,609.32. Gemme, like all police officers, can only work overtime that is authorized by a supervisor.
Just as it would be inappropriate and unethical for me to be directly or indirectly involved in the compensation of Gemme, it would be equally inappropriate for me to comment publicly on Gemme’s earnings. Therefore, I have provided the following information for your review and if you should have additional questions regarding Gemme, I would direct you to the appropriate deputy chief.
Gary J. Gemme
Chief of Police