Base police union vote reveals rift

Groton - Police officers at the Naval Submarine Base allege that the security department is being mismanaged and morale is at its lowest point in years.

The union that represents about 40 civilian police officers in the department, the National Association of Government Employees, Local R1-100, passed a vote of "no confidence" in the security director's ability to lead on Tuesday, said Robert Faulise, union president and a base police officer. Faulise said on Friday the vote was "overwhelming."

Patricia Adams has been the director of security since October 2010.

Faulise said the union plans to give Capt. Marc Denno, the base commander, a list of grievances and allegations by early next week. He said he did not want to discuss the specifics in order to give Denno time to fix the problems.

The security of the base has not been compromised, Faulise said, adding that the employees in the department understand "these are trying times" and act professionally.

Officials at the base had not been notified of the results of the union's vote as of late Friday, according to a statement from the base.

"The union contract outlines a formal policy regarding how the commanding officer addresses grievances. Subase will abide by the contract but will not comment on matters that the union submits to management through the grievance process," the statement said.

This week, the Navy said 14 active-duty sailors assigned to the base have been implicated in connection with drug activity. Of the 14, six have been arrested so far.

The security department's issues, which have been ongoing for more than a year, are not related to that investigation, Faulise said. Several officers have filed formal complaints with the Naval Inspector General, he added.

The base said it also had not been notified of an investigation by the inspector general as of Friday.

Union leaders have discussed the problems with both Denno and the security director, but they have not yet been resolved, Faulise said.

"This vote was necessary to let people know, especially the commanding officer and Navy officials, that we need to address these problems with morale," he said.

Faulise said he's confident Denno will make the necessary changes.

"There are a lot of great military members in that department and civilian officers," he said, "and we just need to get it to where it needs to be."

j.mcdermott@theday.com

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