The Boston Mayor’s office is coming under strong criticism for its refusal to release the names of at least five police officers who were caught driving while intoxicated.
According to Mayor Martin Walsh, his office is not required to release the information. The calls to release that information were made by the Boston Globe as part of its investigation into incidents of police officers driving under the influence of alcohol. The Globe conducted an investigation into drunk driving in the Police Department, and found at least 30 officers in Massachusetts alone since 2012, who had been caught driving under the influence of alcohol. Those included at least five officers from Boston.
The Globe investigation found that in several cases, local police departments tried to prevent DUI records from being released, even when the officers involved had caused serious drunk driving accidents. The Investigation found that in at least 10 cases, officers continue to remain on the payroll even after they had their driving licenses suspended because of the drunk driving. They continued to remain on the payroll, even though they could no longer legally drive, and could not perform their usual duties.
However, there is no exception for police officers that protects their DUI records from being released to the public. According to attorneys, all public records can be released, and police officers can enjoy no such special treatment. The decision to withhold the names of officers who have been arrested for DUI is especially hard to digest, especially considering that the Boston Police Department has a special page on its website dedicated to publishing the names of civilians arrested for DUI.