Holyoke officials discuss sergeant's missing guns - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Holyoke officials discuss sergeant's missing guns

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Holyoke police Sgt. John Hart was the topic of discussion again at the city's Wednesday night public safety meeting.

Back in November, Hart left his gun in a public bathroom.

That meeting was public for about an hour while the council discussed going into executive session. Hart was invited to the meeting, but he was not in attendance.

Committee members were hoping to get answers to their questions that still linger about why and how the 16-year veteran sergeant only received a 10-day suspension after leaving his service revolver in the Holyoke Mall bathroom in November.

He also misplaced a sniper rifle in September 2011, receiving just five days without pay.

Councilors tried asking the chief questions earlier this month and during Wednesday's meeting as to how this could've happened and why Hart didn't lose his job over the incidents, but the chief would not speak on personnel matters in a public meeting.

The meeting eventually went into executive session for about two hours. Councilor Kevin Jourdain, who filed the order, said the discussion went well and all of his questions were answered.

"I think one of the things that came out of it was we got to learn that the chief has a very thorough process and very thorough examination. The matters were referred to the district attorney's office as well. The district attorney's office screened these two incidents out from a criminal perspective," said Jourdain.

Jourdain said the purpose of Wednesday's meeting was never to change Hart's penalty but to learn how and why the chief's choice of discipline was decided upon.

The chief stands with the punishment he gave to Hart, and while some committee members did not agree, they said they respect his decision.

Hart continues to work at the police department.

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