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Melrose mum on police officer's resignation

Posted by Alix Roy  May 18, 2010 09:04 AM

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Melrose Police officer Diane Barrett has resigned from her position with the department after 13 years of employment, the city's Human Resources Department confirmed on Monday.

Human Resources Director Marianne Long declined to comment on Barrett's reasons for relinquishing her post but said the termination was “voluntary.” Barrett's last day on the job was April 29.

“I'm not going to comment on any reason,” Long said.

Melrose Police Lieutenant Mark DeCroteau confirmed Barrett's departure but referred personnel questions to Long. The department currently employs several female officers including a female detective, he said.

Barrett, a Melrose High School graduate who attended Western New England College, joined the Melrose Police force in May of 1997. She earned $86,756.36 in fiscal 2008, making her the city's 44th highest paid public employee that year, according to city records.

Barrett could not be reached for comment.

Police Chief Michael Lyle did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Melrose Mayor Robert Dolan declined to comment on issues related to personnel but said he was surprised by Barrett's resignation.
 
“As with anyone who's worked for the city, I wish them the best,” he said.

When questioned about substance abuse policies in the Melrose Police Department, Dolan said the department is authorized to request drug tests for any employee based on “reasonable suspicion.”

“It's a very, very low threshold that we can send someone for drug testing,” he said. “We cannot have people that put themselves and the public at risk.”

Dolan stressed that his responses were “totally unrelated” to Barrett's departure, but acknowledged that the Melrose department has dealt with substance abuse issues before.

"In a very small department in a very small city we know what's going on with our staff," he said. "We've had people get mixed up with things."

Alix Roy can be reached at alixcroy@gmail.com.

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