Interim Police Chief Paul Gauvin announces;
Officer Michael Pessoa has been terminated as a member of the Fall River Police Department, effective today, January 12, 2022.
My decision to terminate him was based on the findings of a hearing officer designated by the City to determine whether Mr. Pessoa had engaged in serious misconduct in violation of Fall River Police Department Rules and Regulations.
The hearing officer found substantial evidence that Mr. Pessoa had engaged in egregious violations of Police Department Rules and Regulations and that termination was warranted.
These findings and my decision to terminate Mr. Pessoa have no bearing on the pending criminal allegations against him, which will be adjudicated through the criminal justice system.
The courts have determined that police officers voluntarily undertake to adhere to a higher standard of conduct; that officers must comport themselves in accordance with the laws that they are sworn to enforce and behave in a manner that brings honor and respect for rather than public distrust of law enforcement personnel. In this case, Mr. Pessoa did not adhere to that standard of conduct, and that is the basis for his termination.