National News

Police officer fired over Facebook post

Posted June 14, 2018 3:09 p.m. EDT

— A Facebook post led to the dismissal of a Warren police officer.

The Town Select Board fired an officer after he posted a meme on a post about a fire.

Now, the small town has an understaffed police department as the officer's position remains unfilled.

In a Facebook post, the Warren Fire Department shared photos of a structure fire at 32 North Street last month.

The pictures showed the heavy flames and damage done to the home that left five people displaced.

A Warren police officer at the time posted a meme in the comment section.

When the Town Select Board caught wind of the post, which garnered negative responses and in reply, they promptly fired him.

In a statement, former Warren police Officer Shawn Morin told Western Mass News:

I love being a police officer and enjoy serving the town I live in and grew up in. I am actively involved in the community and donate lots of my personal time to the town. My posting was strictly meant as a joke with the fire department personnel, many of whom I am good friends with. We had a charity softball game coming up, which I led the organizing of, and I'd been going back forth with many of the firefighters jokingly. At the time of the posting, I had no idea what was on fire or the extent. I strictly knew they were responding to a fire. I had no idea my post would be construed in such a manner and had no negative intentions with it.

Marc Richard, Chairperson of the Selectboard, said:

This is a personal matter and until resolved, he cannot comment. He says he's dealing with the police union but is legally bound and cannot say more until the issue is resolved.

In town and on Facebook, you can see support growing for Morin, signs reading, 're-hire Officer Morin', 'I stand for Morin, and 're-hire our officer now'.

Richard told Western Mass News the process and discussion between attorneys has just begun.