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Statement From Chief Paul Bernat Regarding Thomas Webster 12-19-15



Cpl. Thomas Webster IV to Return to Dover Police Department on Administrative Leave with Pay

Dover Police Chief Paul Bernat announced today that Cpl. Thomas Webster IV will return to the Dover Police Department on paid administrative leave on Sunday, December 20, 2015.

Dover Police Department’s use of force policy requires that any officer involved in the use of deadly force that results in injury or death must undergo a psychological evaluation before returning to full duty.

Responding to calls that the Dover Police Department review Cpl. Webster’s actions in a videotaped arrest that occurred in August 2013, Chief Bernat reminded community members and elected officials that Delaware state law and Dover Police Department directives require that Cpl. Webster be afforded due process, including a hearing before a board of Captains, prior to any adverse employment action, including termination.

“The Dover Police Department has already completed its internal investigation and dealt with this incident independently of the concurrent criminal proceedings,” said Chief Bernat.  “As a law enforcement officer, Cpl. Webster is afforded rights under state law, and the Dover Police Department must abide by the law as well as its obligations under Dover Police Department directives.  While the Dover Police Department has treated this incident with the utmost seriousness, Cpl. Webster’s right to return to his job after having been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing must be honored.”

On December 8, 2015, Cpl. Webster was found not guilty by a 12 member jury on a charge of felony assault resulting from an arrest that occurred in August 2013.

Statement released by M/Cpl. Mark Hoffman, Public Information Officer, on behalf of Chief Paul Bernat