NEW BEDFORD — A New Bedford police sergeant who has been under internal investigation for her alleged actions while off duty relating to a domestic violence incident is being removed from her assignment in the department’s domestic violence unit.
According to a document obtained by The Light, Police Chief Paul Oliveira announced the transfer of Sgt. Sasha Vicente from the “Family Services/Domestic Violence Unit” to a temporary assignment in patrol on Friday. Her reassignment is effective Sunday.
Vicente was allegedly in the driver’s seat of a vehicle “waiting” outside as two other women forced entry into a complainant’s residence in September, The Light reported earlier this month. Those two women destroyed or damaged property worth about $8,400, including jet skis, a passport and a laptop, per police reports, and were subsequently charged.
The complaint alleges that one of the women left the scene in the car with Vicente, who was off duty at the time. Vicente did not enter the residence, and has not been charged with a crime related to the incident, per the police report.
Police officers have a responsibility to act while off duty under certain circumstances.
Under the New Bedford police’s general department rules, police officers, including when off duty, “shall provide police services should they be needed to prevent or stop any felony or breach of the peace or assist with any emergency situation.”
Officers, either on or off duty, shall not conduct themselves in a manner that “casts doubt on their integrity, honesty, moral judgment, or character,” states the department’s Standards of Conduct directive.
The Light filed public records requests regarding the internal investigation into Vicente with the city solicitor’s office. The city withheld the responsive records in late October, stating that the internal investigation was ongoing and thus exempt from disclosure under state records law.
Chief Oliveira did not immediately respond to a request for comment or answer questions Friday afternoon on why Vicente was reassigned, and whether the internal investigation into her alleged actions remains ongoing.
Vicente did not immediately return a request for comment Friday afternoon.
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