Two Bainbridge police lieutenants reprimanded after one caught sleeping on the job
By BRIAN KELLY
Bainbridge Island Review Editor
August 29, 2012 · 9:13 AM
Two lieutenants with the Bainbridge Island Police Department have been reprimanded after one lieutenant was caught sleeping on the job earlier this year.
Lt. Phil Hawkins was given an oral reprimand on July 30 by Interim Public Safety Director Larry Dickerson for sleeping while on duty during a late shift in January.
Another officer, Lt. Denise Giuntoli, was disciplined for not reporting the violation after she had been told about it, despite repeated prompting from a coworker.
In his memo to Hawkins on the incident, obtained this week via a public records request by the Review, Dickerson told Hawkins the punishment would have been more severe if the internal investigation into the incident had not taken so long.
"The findings would ordinarily warrant stronger discipline, but in light of the time period it took for the investigation to conclude, I feel this is all the discipline warranted," Dickerson wrote.
City officials had been considering a three-day suspension.
Hawkins violated numerous policies set out in the police department's General Orders Manual.
Although the exact policies that Hawkins violated were redacted by Dickerson in the memo released by the city, other documents that were made public this week show that Hawkins was investigated for sleeping while on duty, neglect of duty and unsatisfactory performance.
The internal investigation found that Hawkins had been sleeping at the patrol table at the police station in early January when another officer entered the room to file a report.
The officer said Hawkins did not acknowledge him when he entered the room and sat at a nearby computer to type his report. The lieutenant was sitting behind a stack of paperwork with his chin on his chest.
The officer said that after about five minutes or so, he stomped his foot "really loud to wake him up."
Hawkins woke up, and said he had dozed off.
Hawkins later admitted to investigators that he had fallen asleep.
He said he was reviewing paperwork and eating lunch at the same time, and said he nodded off for a few seconds.
Hawkins recalled that when an officer entered the room and said, "Hey, are you sleeping?" that he woke up and laughed it off.
He also said he had returned from a New Year's trip to Canada with his fiancé and had came back to work the graveyard shift and did not sleep before his shift.
The investigation also found that Hawkins repeatedly failed to respond to radio calls while on duty.
According to records released by the city, several officers complained that Hawkins did not always respond to calls during his shift. They said they were worried it was a safety issue.
The officer who found Hawkins asleep told investigators about two patrol calls, one involving an alarm at a thrift store on Winslow Way and another call about a suicidal subject, where the officer tried to call Hawkins on the radio but did not get a response.
The officer checked the building where the alarm had sounded, then checked with Hawkins later, who then told the officer about the salmon dinner he had enjoyed with his fiancé.
Another officer told investigators about a day when Hawkins missed three radio calls, and a third officer also said Hawkins had been missing radio calls and said he was worried about Hawkins ability to be a supervisor.
The missed radio calls were in January through March, but an officer mentioned there had been an "intervention" and said Hawkins was doing better in recent weeks. One officer said it was because Hawkins had replaced the batteries in his hearing devices.
Other officers interviewed as part of the internal investigation also said they had heard about Hawkins sleeping on the job.
The internal investigation against Hawkins — prompted by a complaint made on March 16 — was wrapped up on April 10.
Hawkins has been with the Bainbridge Island Police Department wince 1991 and is a first-line supervisor.
Dickerson, the interim public safety chief, told Hawkins the disciplinary memo would not be placed in his personnel file.
Another lieutenant with the department, Giuntoli, was also investigated after the sleeping-on-the-job incident after she failed to report it to her chain of command.
That investigation ran concurrent with the probe of Hawkins, and both cases were investigated by Police Commander Sue Shultz.
Giuntoli was investigated for unsatisfactory performance, a violation of the police department's General Orders Manual, and city officials had been considering a written reprimand.
The probe found that Giuntoli had not reported the Hawkins sleeping incident to her chain of command, had not reported safety concerns where officers had said Hawkins failed to respond to radio calls and did not raise those concerns with her superiors, and that she had talked about the violations with another staff member in late February.
Giuntoli was given an oral reprimand by Dickerson on July 20.
Dickerson also told Giuntoli that the investigation had dragged on for too long, so more serious discipline was not warranted. He also said that nothing would be placed in her personnel file.
Contact Bainbridge Island Review Editor Brian Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-206-842-6613.