NORFOLK The towns police officer in charge has been on paid leave for the last week, according to Supervisor Charles A. Pernice.
R. Scott Bennett began his leave as of Aug. 3, Mr. Pernice said. He declined comment on whether the leave was a suspension from the department and stated the issue was a sensitive personnel matter. He also declined comment on why Mr. Bennett was on leave.
Mr. Bennett has worked in the department for approximately nine years, Mr. Pernice said. The town council appointed him officer in charge in March 2008 after John Jones resigned to take a position with the St. Lawrence County Sheriffs Department. Officer Carla Trimm, who has worked for the department for three years, is serving as acting officer in charge.
Mr. Pernice said he has been in contact with Town Attorney Eric Gustafson regarding Mr. Bennetts employment. Mr. Gustasfon also declined comment Friday, calling Mr. Bennetts employment with the town a confidential personnel issue.
Mr. Bennett had been leading a department of seven part-time officers, Mr. Pernice said.
Efforts to reach Mr. Bennett were unsuccessful on Friday. The Norfolk Town Council will convene for its regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Monday.
Mr. Bennett led the department during at least three efforts by town residents to petition for a vote to abolish it, one in 2009, another in 2010 and again last year. All of those efforts were unsuccessful.
Mr. Bennetts involvement in a June 18, 2011 high-speed pursuit which ended in the death of a 47-year-old Norfolk man caused an uproar among the victims relatives and other town residents and prompted one of those petitions.