The Worcester Telegram's Dianne Williamson reports on a scorching series of e-mails between that city's police chief and a city councilor. At stake is the correct way to keep an eye on sometimes-rowdy bars:
The back-and-forth began July 18, when then-acting City Manager Julie Jacobson sent councilors an e-mail notifying them that the chief had enacted a policy requiring bars that use off-duty police details to hire them in pairs. She outlined several reasons for the policy — public safety, the safety of officers, and to reduce liability from excessive force lawsuits. The e-mail was copied to Chief [Gary] Gemme.
[City Councilor Michael] Germain responded within the hour. “I have to say that I absolutely will not support such a knee-jerk reaction. Putting numerous small businesses out of business is not the answer. Worse now is these businesses won’t put any details on and we put the public at risk.” He said he hit the “reply” button and did not necessarily intend to e-mail Chief Gemme, but he did.
The war of words escalated over the next few days. In one exchange, Chief Gemme wrote that Mr. Germain crossed the line with his knee-jerk comment and that “It makes you wonder what stupor or venue you were in what(sic) you flew off your e-mail. I will chalk it up to your rookie status on the council.”