With Rank Comes Privilege: With Privilege, Power. Part 8

The Problems with Dr. Pete’s report(s)???

  • NO PRECIPITATING EVENT
  • Subjective/One-Sided Input
  • Hard of hearing?/Inept?/or Biased?
  • Made Assumptions/Mind Reader?
  • Ignored Science/Personality Disorders
  • Ignored the Whole Picture
  • Member of IACP-International Association of Chiefs of Police (Management Organization)
  • Let MPA/APA Membership Lapse/Ethics requirements
  • Marketed Self as “Police Psychologist”- There is No “Certification” in “Police Psychology”
  • Dual Relationship/Accepted Client- Not always wrong
  • Accepted Large Amount $ for Performing

Dr Pete’s Primary Income 1996 came from doing Fitness For Duty Evaluations/Pre-Employment Evaluations

Dr. Pete sold his “practice” in 2003 – He advertised that the only requirement to take over his practice = Licensed Psychologist

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS?

  • IMPROPER REFERRAL
  • Ignored numerous other reports
  • City Declined Pete’s original suggestion for referral
  • Patricia and Renee’ still not back to work at GRPD
  • Tactic has been used across the country
  • National FOP/Union ignoring this problem
  • Psychologists accepting these referral$

Patricia had the following evaluations (7)

  • Dr. Pete: Grand Rapids City Psychologist-> unfit
  • Dr. Tony: “Friend of Pete” Grand Rapids Hired Psychologist-> unfit
  • Dr. Larry: Plaintiff Hired Psychiatrist -> Fit
  • Dr. Mark: Plaintiff Hired Psychologist -> Fit
  • Dr. Mark: Plaintiff Hired Psychologist -> Fit
  • Dr. Nancy: Plaintiff Hired Psychologist -> Fit  (evaluator for CHP and LAPD)
  • Dr. Dave: Plaintiff Hired Psychologist -> Fit

Renee’s (9)

  • Dr. Pete: Grand Rapids City Psychologist-> unfit
  • Dr. Tony: “friend of Pete” Grand Rapids Hired Psychologist-> unfit
  • Dr. Larry: Plaintiff Hired Psychiatrist -> Fit
  • Dr. Mark: Plaintiff Hired Psychologist ->Fit
  • Dr. Mark: Plaintiff Hired Psychologist -> Fit
  • Dr. Nancy: Plaintiff Hired Psychologist ->Fit (evaluator for CHP and LAPD)
  • Dr. Dave: Plaintiff Hired Psychologist -> Fit
  • Dr. Patrick: Appellate Attorney Hired -> Fit
  • Dr. Tom: Spectrum Health Pre-employ-> Fit

I am certain that Patricia and I are the most “shrinked” and “certified sane” individuals in the State of Michigan.  Why would GRPD ignored all the additional evaluations?

We received copies of the tests we took for “Dr. Pete” during discovery. When they were analyzed it was found we had passed those too.  “Dr Pete” just didn’t use the results from the tests he gave us!?  Now why would a “Police Psychologist” do $uch a thing?

So even though we are certified sane, we lose the state case…

 

 

With Rank Comes Privilege: With Privilege, Power. Part 7

WE FILED OUR SECOND LAWSUIT FOR RETALIATION IN FEDERAL COURT

Word around the office was that they were going to pick us off one-by-one using Fitness For Duty Evaluations. The act of Patricia and I filing this federal Case effectively prevented the City from doing the same to the other plaintiffs in the State Case.   They did not want all the Plaintiffs in Federal court too.

I sure would have liked to hear their explanation for the apparently contagious nature of personality disorders.  Funny, I haven’t heard of anyone else catching it since.

These are not isolated events

Patricia and I are not the first women this has happened to.  It was well known that being sent to the department Psychologist was a punishment.  With the guys there would be some sort of incident, or “precipitating event” they would be sent to the psychologist get two weeks off then be allowed to return to work.  I can’t think of a single instance of a male officer at my department being sent for no reason.  The guys didn’t usually lose their jobs. All the women did.  This has happened at other police departments across the country and other types of organizations.

Back to our psych evaluations:

Our initial appointments involved taking fill-in-the-bubble tests.  We were not going to be passive/reactive, sheep led to slaughter.  We decided to fight.  We knew that they had gotten rid of other women the same way, so we came up with a plan of action.

When I went to my initial appointment with the city psychologist, Dr. Pete, I went in wired with a tape recorder.  In fact, I taped all my appointments with Dr. Pete.  The first day, he had me come in and gestured toward some tables so I went over and sat down.  He then told me to sit on the other side of the table in a different chair.  I obliged.  There was a comic hanging on the wall that I could now see from this position.  It had a picture of a woman in a skirt with her hands over her head and two male officers with their guns drawn.  The caption read something like, “We just got the results of your Psychological exam.”  I laughed sarcastically and asked him, Oh, is this for my benefit?  He quickly took it down after smirking, “Oh, does this offend you? I thought it was humorous.”  I told him it was probably inappropriate to have posted in an office that does Fitness For Duty Evaluations.

He gave me 5 tests to take.  One was a pre-employment test, a personality test, another was an intelligence test and with a couple others.  He went into another room.  I quietly read out loud the titles and versions of each test so I would get it on my tape recorder.  Each time we were scheduled with the Dr. Pete, we would make a second appointment with two others, for the same day, a Psychiatrist and a Forensic Psychologist.  We would then take exactly the same tests again.

I went back to “Dr. Pete” another day for the interview portion of the evaluation.  He would ask me questions. and I would answer them.  He would then stare at me in silence expecting, what?  Most of the time he would shake his head disapprovingly while looking at the papers on his desk the city had given him, but I wasn’t allowed to see them.

I told him about my shooting incident, about Lt. Woody, and about my Captain throwing away my commendation letter (requesting a combat medal).  Dr. Pete said, “Well if this all really happened I’m sure it would have been investigated.”  What he didn’t know was that the saying around the department was “With Rank Comes Privilege.” Commanders were rarely held accountable for their actions. 

When he produced his report, he completely mis-characterized things I told him, outright turned things and left  important things out (Remember! I taped them all).  He interjected comments about what  I was thinking, how I perceived his comments as if he could read my mind!

He called me apathetic and pessimistic, and dependent.

My family members and friends outright laughed at this assessment saying, well he certainly wasn’t around you much now was he.

“Dr. Pete” told GRPD it appears that Renee’ has some sort of personality disorder, most likely some sort of paranoid personality disorder.  Not taking into account organizational culture, differences in men and women’s psychological responses or even how I navigated the world outside the police department.  He even ignores the fact that Personality Disorders show up in adolescence, not after years of being an adult without one, unless there is a head injury of some sort.  I had sustained no such injury.

“Dr Pete”, not certified in PTSD evaluation, goes on to comment on the possibility of PTSD. He attempts to outline the diagnostic criteria and remarks that he is sure it is not present in my case.  He goes on to suggest that my condition is not treatable, but that medication might be helpful (take note:  Psychologists can not prescribe medication.  Psychiatrists can because they are actually Medically Licensed).

“Dr. Pete” then then goes on to criticizes the report from the Psychiatrist I had sought treatment from more than a year earlier.  I went to take care of early emerging PTSD symptoms related to my on-duty shooting.  I sought my own treatment, paid cash, and it was resolved without any performance issues or intervention needed from my employer.

“Dr. Pete” did not use or reveal results of all the tests we took, but Patricia and I were not surprised when we were both found unfit for duty with the same un-treatable “diagnosis” even though we have very different personalities.

We received copies of other FFDE’s in discovery that were done on female officers at GRPD before ours. It was interesting to find that ours were cookie cutter to theirs.  It was almost like he had a template and he just inserted the names.

THE PROBLEMS WITH DR PETE’S REPORT(S)…next time

With Rank Comes Privilege: With Privilege, Power. Part 6

The intimidation effort gets more serious…

I started getting more cases than my partner. They found out I copied our case logs.  They started giving my partner more cases to catch up his numbers with mine. When he came in and saw new cases on his desk he would swear loudly for several minutes. This did not make me feel good, but that was the point.

Because of all the things we were experiencing our attorney insisted we ask for injunctive relief.  It ended up turning into a two week hearing.

In response to our testimony about these incidents, the judge mocked us, doubted our honesty, and sanctioned (fined) us.  This emboldened the City even more, so things got worse.  The actual trial had not yet started.  The judge set the sanctions aside until the end of the rest of the trial, just meaning he delayed the enforcement of them.

THE ULTIMATE RETALIATION: turn in your badge and gun

First they came for Patricia…

On January 18, 2002 Patricia was working a short day then leaving for a 10 day vacation.

Dispatch tried calling her on the radio, but she had already gone out of service.  When they started paging her on the building’s P.A. system we all knew something was up.  They never used that thing.  Patricia was walked up to Internal Affairs (I.A.).  They asked her to surrender her gun and badge.  She asked for what reason?  They said they didn’t know and wouldn’t tell her a reason.  They ordered her to report to the Police Department Psychologist on the following Monday.  Pat said, nope, I’m on vacation.  She then asked them if they were now denying her vacation.  They said no, but was she was going to be in town?  Patricia responded “I am on vacation and where I am and what I’m doing is none of your business.”  They rescheduled her appointment and later notified her of the change.

The rest of us girls all knew something bad was happening. I went up to Internal Affairs (I.A.) on the 2nd floor to look for her.  I made an excuse to talk to the  Internal Affairs LT.  Chief H.D. saw me from two floors above from the atrium stairs.  He was standing there looking down.

There was no sign of Patricia.  I went and told the others that I didn’t know where she was.  I got a phone call from Liz telling me they had already escorted her out the back door.  No one else saw what was happening.  The building was empty for lunch and I had not left for lunch trying to make sure she was ok.

Then they came for me…   

I was an afterthought.  My Lt. walked me up to Internal Affairs.  By this time, I already knew what was happening, but I didn’t let on.  I refused to go in until I had a Union Steward.  I was told I didn’t need one.  I persisted in my stance. If I am being dragged into Internal Affairs then I definitely needed a Union Steward.  It took a while for them to find one.

Once I was in the Internal Affairs Office,  The Lt I had just been talking to was there.  His face was pale.  He handed me a letter ordering me to go for a Fitness For Duty Evaluation (FFDE) with the department psychologist, “Dr. Pete.”  I read it and asked, “Where is this coming from? He responded, “The Chief”.  It was apparent it was a last minute rush job.  The order had the Chief’s name on it but was signed by the IA Lt.  Chief H.D. couldn’t even do his own dirty work.  Lt. D.M. then asked me to surrender my gun and badge.

I looked around the room and loudly said to the five commanders present “You know this is bullshit.  It’s because of the lawsuit.”  They were all silent.  I had never raised my voice to any of them.

I turned over my badge and gun.  I unbuckled my belt and slid the whole belt off, leaving my gun holstered.  I slammed my belt, holstered gun (still attached to my belt yet facing the wall) and my badge onto the desk and shoved it away from me.  There was no danger to anyone.

MY CAPTAIN ducked into the corner of the room behind a plant while saying “Easy, easy”! I had heard rumor that he had run away as a coward during some sort of incident on the street, but that the document had been gleaned from his personnel file.  No one else in the room had cowered or hid behind a plant.  I looked at him and said, “REALLY?!”

Taking an Officer’s gun and badge is a big deal for a police officer and they knew this.  The job/the badge: It becomes a part of you.  I was escorted out the back door and told “Don’t come back.” FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN HAVING FILED A LAWSUIT AGAINST MY DEPARTMENT.  Our lockers containing our belongings have been padlocked since that day and serve as a message to the other women.

With tears running down my face, I walked to my car.  I called Mike, the guy I had been dating for a couple years.  I told him what had happened.  I thought it would be the end of our relationship.  But he said, I’ll be right there.  He dropped everything he was doing and drove downtown.  Later, they changed my status from administrative leave to unpaid leave.  Mike told me, don’t worry, we are a team.  I will never let you or your kids starve.  I will never forget that.

We have been married since 2003.  I love that man…

 

With Rank Comes Privilege: With Privilege, Power. Part 5

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Two female officer’s had been called “Losers” by their Captain.  When they asked him what he meant he told them to look in the mirror.

Christa was propositioned by the range officer. She turned him down.  He later ordered her to report to the range office where he told her he had to look at her gun.  He unloaded it took it apart put it back together, all the while telling a story about a woman who had made a sexual harassment complaint about a supervisor.  He then pointed the gun at her and asked her if she understood.  She understood that to mean keep your mouth shut or you’re dead.  When I was new, she told me never to go to the practice range alone, but would not tell me why.  I listened to her.  His nickname was Sgt Friendly.

He was allowed/encouraged to retire after a multitude of complaints about all the minority and women officers being sent back to remedial training even if they passed.

THINGS THAT HAPPENED AFTER WE FILED OUR LAWSUIT IN 2001/RETALIATION

A News crew showed up at one plaintiff’s house after they somehow got her address (she dropped out)

We were followed

City hired D&K to delve into our financials/backgrounds

Trash pulls

Started having trouble with our phone lines at home

Other current/former female employees and spouses wanted to join

One former female employee/officer called and visited our attorney to join.  Shortly after, she received threatening phone calls warning her there’d be trouble if she joined.  This caused our attorneys to feel that their phones were compromised or there was surveillance occurring.  She did not join.

Laura was repeatedly called in by the supervisor and reprimanded for ignoring her phone. She discovered someone was going through her desk, and turning her desk phone ringer off and unplugging her radio charger.

WHILE ALL THIS WAS HAPPENING

My Daughter, Rachael, was getting worse.  She was having hundreds of seizures a day and medication wasn’t helping.  When I needed to take her to the Neurologist, I was told I had one hour. Officers were usually allowed 2 hours for appointments. When the Dr. saw Rachael, it was determined she needed to be admitted to the hospital immediately.  I told the Dr. what had happened at work and that I was going to be in trouble.  She called the hospital social worker who brought me Family Medical Leave Act paperwork.  I thought only pregnant women could use it and only after they burned up all their sick and vacation time (well that’s how the department applied it, but that is not how the Act reads). I had never needed it or used it before.  Information about the Family Medical Leave Act was not posted at the Police Department. Ultimately, I only used it 4-5 days total for Rachael, but they couldn’t write me up for it.

Men who took time off for family or children issues were called great dads, told not to worry if they didn’t have enough banked time.  Fundraisers were held for them and their children.  They had wives at home. They received Officer of the year awards (due to their dedication to their work, not their families).  The union asked other officers to donate vacation time to them if they were running out.  I was a single parent with two daughters, one with Special Needs.  This was never done for me.

I started getting more cases than my partner. They found out I copied our case logs.  They started giving my partner more cases to catch up his numbers with mine. When he came in and saw new cases on his desk he would swear loudly for several minutes.

Because of  all the things we were experiencing our attorney insisted we ask for  injunctive relief.

In response to our testimony about these incidents, the judge mocked us, doubted our honesty, and sanctioned (fined) us.  This emboldened the City even more, so things got worse.  The actual trial had not yet started.  The judge set the sanctions aside until the end of the rest of the trial, just meaning he delayed the enforcement of them.

This was not even the worst…yet…