June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Medina mayor says police chief followed terms of suspension

MEDINA — Police Chief Patrick Berarducci did not violate the terms of his suspension earlier this year, according to a letter from Mayor Dennis Hanwell.

In the letter dated May 4 to Daniel J. Leffler, an attorney for the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Hanwell wrote: “Upon receipt of your letter dated April 3, 2012, an investigation was commenced. This investigation was unable to prove any violation of the terms of Chief Patrick Berarducci’s suspension.”

Pat Berarducci

Berarducci was suspended for four weeks in March for making an inappropriate hand gesture during a January meeting with dispatchers, who filed a complaint Feb. 13 with the OPBA.

“I think it’s a shame that it came to this,” Berarducci said Friday, “but it comes with being police chief.”

In his April 3 letter to Hanwell, Leffler said the union received information that alleged Berarducci was in contact with members of the department during his suspension, and he asked consultants for Emergitech, a new police reporting software system, to delay implementing it until he returned to work on April 9.

While on suspension, Berarducci was prohibited from taking part in departmental decisions or actions, but was not barred from simply talking to staff members, Hanwell has said.

Berarducci said he’s “glad to still be the police chief here.”

“We’re doing some great things,” he said, citing the Baker One project being implemented that addresses domestic violence and collaborating with the township police departments in Medina and Montville.

Montville, for example, has a sergeant who knows radio inside and out and is helping the Medina department, he said.

“We’re doing all this at virtually no cost because we have that expertise available to us,” Berarducci said.

Under the Baker One program, Medina police detectives Mary Gross and Amy Kerr follow up with domestic violence victims and offenders to prevent incidents from escalating to serious assaults and homicides.

“We’ve offered that same collaboration to Medina and Montville townships,” Berarducci said of the program.

“I’ve got a really good team of people,” he said.

Contact Liz Sheaffer at (330) 721-4060 or lsheaffer@medina-gazette.com.

About Liz Sheaffer