Punishment doesn’t fit for ex-Ironton police officer

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, September 5, 2009

Enough is enough. The Ironton Police Chief and the mayor refuse to agree with the arbitrator’s decision. They want to file an appeal. Our small town is going to have a shortfall on its budget in a year or so.

As a concerned budget-minded citizen, I resent the additional funds that will have to be used on legal fees and “advice,” when this money could be used for the betterment of Ironton.

I believe I am just one of the majority that feel this whole situation is a personal grudge against Sgt. Beth Rist and it offends me that our city leaders are this prejudiced against a female officer.

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Sgt. Rist is an excellent officer. She is a college graduate excelling in her job as a police officer. She cares about our community.

I observed on many occasions that she was always neat and professional. She went out of her way to help people and animals. She never acted like she was doing you a favor to do her job. It has been proven that she is a victim of disparate treatment and she should be given her job back. Ironton needs her on the police force.

There have been several officers that have gotten into trouble, some were very serious offenses, and they were not punished.

These incidents were self-serving and the incident with Sgt. Rist was not. She should have been given a punishment that fit the crime.

A police officer can drag a man beneath his car and resign to avoid punishment or get into an altercation while intoxicated and resign to avoid punishment. Or an officer can engage in inappropriate conduct when on duty and get caught on videotape. He was not adequately punished, nor did he resign.

I think the appropriate punishment for her incident should have been a 3-day suspension. Certainly not fired, denied unemployment, forced to be the only city employee in history that had to pay for their own arbitration and pushed to the brink of bankruptcy.

Susan Thompson, Ironton