By Christopher Berg and Sandy Malone
Warren, OH – After the police union demanded an apology for a school resource officer getting kicked off campus for writing a ticket to a school principal, the superintendent offered a weak apology.
The wording on the press release suggests that the police officer was in the wrong, and the Warren City Schools superintendent is only apologizing for handling it inappropriately.
“I would like to extend my sincere apology and regret to officer Adam Chinchic and his colleagues at the Warren Police Department for my decision to have him removed from Jefferson PK-8 School by district officials on Tuesday, January 8,” a press release from the superintendent said, according to FOX8.
“Through positive dialogue and conversations between both the patrolmen’s union last week and city officials today, I believe this situation could have been handled by utilizing a chain of command, which will be our process in addressing any and all concerns we may have moving forward,” the press release added.
By suggesting that the chain of command be utilized, the superintendent fails to address, and seems to contradict, that no action should have been taken against the officer for doing his job.
The incident occurred on Tuesday morning, after Warren Police School Resource Officer Adam Chinchic wrote a ticket to Jefferson PK-8 School Principal Carrie Boyer after he caught her illegally parked for the third time, according to the Tribune Chronicle.
Patrolman Stabile said Officer Chinchic warned Boyer back before the holiday break that she was illegally parking in an area specifically designated for loading handicapped people into their vehicles.
“It is my understanding that at the time, she told the officer she had been parking there for years and then moved her car,” he said.
An undated Google Maps photo of the school parking lot actually showed Boyer’s car parked in the striped, no-parking zone.
Many vans and other vehicles retrofitted for handicapped passengers have ramps that extend multiple feet out. Parking in the area designated for their loading and unloading could mean someone is unable to access or exit their vehicle parked in a designated handicap space.
After the initial warning, Officer Chinchic caught Boyer parking in the handicap zone again when she returned after the holiday break and he warned her again, the Tribune Chronicle reported.
When he found her parked there again on Jan. 8, the school resource officer issued the principal a ticket, Patrolman Stabile said.
Within 30 minutes of writing the ticket, two district employees approached Officer Chinchic and told him that Boyer had told them to escort the school resource officer from the school.
“He was taken to his office, allowed to collect his belongings and walked out of the building,” Patrolman Stabile told the Tribune Chronicle.
The police union took umbrage at the way the school resource officer was treated.
“The principal was warned several times,” Warren Police Officer Michael Currington, a police union representative, told WJW. “Resource officer Adam Chinchic was ordered and escorted out of the building by the school’s business manager and the head of security in the same fashion as a criminal.”
Patrolman Stabile pointed out that the school resource officer could have given the principal a ticket back before the holidays when he first warned her, but he was being nice.
“Our officer did nothing wrong,” he said.
Warren City Law Director Greg Hicks confirmed that assertion to WJW.
“The officer asked her several times not to park there,” Hicks said. “My understanding she was parked in the striped area next to the handicap spot, and that is not allowed. She was told several times.”
“If we allowed that, what would we be teaching our kids?” he asked.
Officer Currington said when Officer Chinchic was kicked off campus, he was more concerned about the students than himself.
“Our officer was upset because he had promised a second grader he would have lunch with her and he couldn’t explain to her why he wouldn’t be there,” the union representative said. “He was more upset about the student.”
Officer Chinchic was temporarily reassigned within his police department, and school resource officers from other campuses have been helping to cover Jefferson.