REVERE (CBS) – A Revere cop is off the street in the wake of an I-Team investigation which reveals that when the police officer was on the clock, he often wasn’t actually working.
In fact, our cameras caught him spending an awful lot of his work day not doing his job at all.
The I-Team documented officer Michael Mullen regularly spending a good part of his work day at home, while his fellow officers worked to keep the city safe.
WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports
We were there on one July day, watching Mullen pull his police cruiser into his driveway and head into his house only about an hour after roll call. On this work day, he racked up 3 hours and 55 minutes at home.
The very next day, the I-Team found him slacking off again for 2 hours and 41 minutes. Our video shows him getting a coffee delivery in his driveway.
On August 10, he was at home again for 3 hours and 19 minutes. When Mullen finally left his house in his cruiser, we followed him and found him parked behind a church, not doing much at all.
On two other days we saw Mullen at home for 2 hours and 17 minutes and then again for 2 hours and 45 minutes.
On the second day, while he was at home, he received a call from the dispatcher to serve a summons. Mullen answered the radio call, but it was another 42 minutes before he headed out the door.
It was a pattern we saw over and over again, hour after hour, watching taxpayers’ dollars not at work.
We told Revere Police Chief Terrence Reardon what we’d seen his officer doing, on the clock, and asked him if it was acceptable.
“Totally unacceptable,” the chief said.
“We have a responsibility to the public. They pay his salary and secondly, it bothers me because it overshadows the work other officers do on a daily basis.”
We also talked to Tom Nolan, a former Boston Police lieutenant who now works for Homeland Security.
“This is clearly a management and supervisory breakdown,” Nolan said.
“You serve a very valuable function — or you’re paid to serve a very valuable function — in the community and that is to be out there, to be visible, to be available, to respond when people need you, when they call you, and not to be sitting at home watching television or sleeping or whatever is going on here.”
Our investigation comes at a time when manpower at the Revere Police Department is at a 26-year low.
The bare minimum staffing level is 100 officers and there are currently only 86 members of the department.
Because of that, Chief Reardon said, it’s even more crucial that everyone pulls their weight.
“We’re forcing officers to work overtime every shift,” Reardon said.
“So when I hear of issues like this, it hits me in the quick. It’s certainly not appropriate, no excuse for it.”
Officer Mullen had no excuses, or answers of any kind, when we tried to talk to him outside his house.
Instead, he hurried into his garage and quickly shut the door.
Said Nolan: “This is not a city that doesn’t have to have vigilance on the part of its police officers. This is a city that has a fairly significant level of violent crimes against persons. He’s certainly not helping to attack and address the issue by remaining in his house when he should be out patrolling the streets of Revere.”
In the wake of our investigation, Chief Reardon said he will be looking at the department’s policies and questioning officer Mullen and his supervisors.
Mullen could face suspension as a result.
The chief tells us Mullen should be responding to calls, following up open cases, reviewing the laws, and doing traffic enforcement.
Officer Mullen has been on the Revere Police Department for seven years and he was paid almost $80,000 last year.
The chief said Mullen has not had any disciplinary issues, but added that he is not a motivated officer.