Pennsylvania Cop Fighting Suspension after Blowing Whistle on Police Chief

Nathan Dimoff

An officer filed a complaint against his chief for not reporting a sexting crime against a minor and ended up suspended.

A suspended Pennsylvania cop is suing his police chief and other city officials for failing to report a sexual crime involving a minor to ChildLine, the state agency responsible for gathering these reports, even though it is required by law.

Northumberland Borough police officer Ed Cope filed a lawsuit against Police Chief Butch Kriner, the borough's mayor and an unnamed council member requesting reinstatement, back pay and general damages after he was suspended in May for failing to qualify for firearms certification, which was apparently in retaliation for blowing the whistle.

The lawsuit filed August 27 states that on November 8, 2017, "a male adult came to the Northumberland Borough police station and reported an incident of sexting to his 13-year-old stepdaughter to NBPD Chief Kriner. Although he wrote up an NBPD incident report, Chief Kriner did not report the matter to ChildLine," according to DailyItem.

Cope, who has been with the department since 1991, was suspended without pay by Mayor Dan Berard for allegedly failing to adhere to the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission (MPOETC) firearms proficiency regulations.

A large portion of the complaint states that he was wrongfully suspended and that the suspension was unfair and should be reversed, restoring him to active service.

Even though that was the majority of the complaint, Cope also mentioned in the complaint that "the spouse of a member of Northumberland Borough Council, who was a school administrator, had also failed to report the sexting incident to ChildLine."

Cope also stated that borough employees did not have proper background checks conducted by the chief while going through the hiring process. Because the background checks were not done, an officer and employee were both hired while having outstanding warrants.

In the lawsuit, Cope states that he not only met the MPOETC test requirements but surpassed the requirements.

This is not the only questionable action done within the department.

Earlier this week, with the chief's recommendation, Northumberland Borough Council fired patrolman Josh Dreisbach in a 5 to 1 vote and promoted patrolman Mike Vognetz as a full-time officer at an hourly pay rate of about $27.

Council Vice President Paul Boyer could not comment on the firing other than stating that it was a personal matter.


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