OFFICER DOWN…Sgt. Dario Aponte http://www.privateofficer.com
Biographical InfoAge: Not available
CT. OFFICER CHARGED WITH COMPUTER CRIMES http://www.privateofficer.com
MADISON CT. Oct. 11, 2007 – Town police on Tuesday arrested one of their own, charging him with illegally using police computers to track down information on various women, including his ex-wife and current and former girlfriends.Officer Bernard Durgin Jr., a seven-year veteran of the Madison Police Department, was also suspended without pay on Tuesday by Chief Paul Jakubson for neglect of duty, conduct unbecoming an officer and other violations of department policy related to a separate incident.Durgin already had been suspended with pay since early August, after a confrontation between New Haven police and a member of the Poor Boyz motorcycle club outside a bar. Durgin, according to police, was wearing the East Haven motorcycle club’s colors and represented himself as an on-duty Madison police officer. Jakubson said Durgin had called in sick that day.
As a result of the investigation into the New Haven incident, Jakubson placed him on unpaid leave. Both the internal and criminal investigations into that incident are ongoing.Durgin, a resident of East Haven, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.In the computer-use case, Durgin was released Tuesday on $75,000 bail for an appearance in Superior Court in New Haven Oct. 16, police said.That charge involves Durgin’s alleged efforts to obtain private and personal information about women he met while working part-time as a security guard at Yale-New Haven Hospital. According to the arrest affidavit, Durgin made 34 separate inquiries about 17 people between Feb. 17, 2006, and July 14, 2007, using the computer in his cruiser to access the networks police use to obtain information about suspects.In most cases the people were women with whom he had no more than a passing acquaintance. He also used the system to find out about his current and past girlfriends, his ex-wife and her family, a former fiancée and her partners and family, police said.Police spoke to the human resources department and the head of protective services at Yale-New Haven and interviewed several of the women.Durgin’s arrest on a felony charge of computer crime, which covers a wide range of possible activities, came about as the result of the investigation into the August incident. Durgin had called a fellow officer, investigators said, and asked if he would look up information on someone using his cruiser’s computer.The officer pretended his computer was not working. A week earlier, he said, “Durgin had told me that his fiancée left him for another guy and that [Durgin] was going to try and find out who that guy was,” according to the arrest affidavit. Police began looking into other inquiries Durgin had made.Police use various information systems, including the Connecticut On-Line Law Enforcement Communications Teleprocessing system, the National Crime Information Center and the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System. It is a clear violation of policy – and illegal – for police to use those systems for personal reasons.On Aug. 5 about 12:30 a.m., on a night when he had called in sick for the midnight to 8 a.m. shift, Durgin showed up outside a Temple Street bar in New Haven after an altercation between a suspect and New Haven police, according to Jakubson, who referred to the incident in a suspension letter given to Durgin Tuesday. Durgin reportedly showed his badge and told officers at the scene he was on the job with Madison police. Instead of assisting the other officers, Durgin interceded “on behalf of a convicted felon who had been violently resisting arrest,” the chief wrote.Durgin’s actions “caused the investigating officer in the incident to relate deep concern about the display of motorcycle gang `colors’” by Madison police, Jakubson wrote.
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