Not a week has passed since Revere Police Chief Joe Cafarelli ordered his captains to return their city owned automobiles and the captains have apparently filed a grievance with the city requesting them back.
“The grievance has been put in,” said a police department officer who wished to remain unnamed.
Chief Joseph Cafarelli said he had not yet received anything to support the contention but he admitted he might be the last to know until it reached his desk.
“No grievance has been filed as of today,” the chief said Tuesday morning. “The captains have been very cooperative. I’m pleased so far with their conduct and with their responses to the duties I have asked them to fulfill,” the chief added.
Mayor Dan Rizzo said he was prepared to fight any grievance that is filed by the captains asking for the return of what had come to be personal vehicles for their personal use.
“I’m not going to back down on our position, which is, that city owned vehicles are not perks or weekend vehicles or personal vehicles for captains or for anyone. My position is firm. City owned vehicles used as personal vehicles by any employee is a slap to the face of the taxpayers of this city,” the mayor said.
The grievance already filed or to be filed requests that the city owned automobiles be returned for the captains’ use and additionally, for the right to take them home and to fill them up with city paid for gasoline.
The protocol for the filing of a grievance requires a copy of the grievance to be sent within 48 hours of its filing to the President of the Revere Police Superior Officers Union (RPSOU) who then delivers it to the executive officer, in this case, Chief Cafarelli.
The chief has 5 days to act.
If he takes no action, then the grievance is sent by the chief to the mayor who then has 30 days to set up a hearing.
If the mayor refuses to set up a hearing, the matter then goes to arbitration.
Efforts to reach Sgt. Chuck Callahan for a definitive comment on the matter were unsuccessful. Callahan is the president of the RPSOU.
A former police officer interviewed for this story said that the police captains had come to view their city owned automobiles and gasoline rights as “something they were owed.”
“That’s ridiculous,” said the former police officer.
He said one of the captains had recently purchased an automobile for himself – and that all the captains used the city owned vehicles the way Revere residents use their personal automobiles.
“That was wrong. The use of the vehicles was never meant to be that way,” he added.
Chief Cafarelli put it all into perspective Tuesday morning.
“Grievance or not, the captains have been very cooperative. I view the car issue at this point as a non-issue. I’ve got a police department to run,” he said.