Middletown police officer 3 weeks on the job terminated for misconduct

Joseph Ryan Stafford’s termination was approved Tuesday night by City Council.

A Middletown police officer, three weeks into his 12-month probationary period at the beginning of his employment, has been terminated by the city for conduct unbecoming after the move was approved Tuesday night by City Council.

Joseph Ryan Stafford was terminated on May 22 for questions regarding his character, what Police Chief David Birk called in a letter “unacceptable for a law enforcement officer.”

The probationary period is the final element of the selection process for all candidates and is about 12 months from the date of hire, which for Stafford, was April 17. Upon completion of the probationary period, the employee will be granted permanent status, according to city documents.

The letter was included in Stafford’s personnel file that was reviewed by the Journal-News after a public records request.

Birk said Stafford, who was scheduled to earn $62,983, worked with three field training officers.

“After reviewing complaints from each of these field training officers, there was found to be repeated statements in reference to Officer Stafford’s truthfulness, including his military service in the United States Air Force, as well as other questions of character, that is unacceptable for a law enforcement officer,” read a letter signed by Birk.

The letter said when Stafford was interviewed by a Middletown Division of Police sergeant and lieutenant he “continued to place blame on everyone, but himself.”

Stafford attended Greene County Career Center, and before being hired in Middletown, worked for Aldi in Springfield and the Beavercreek Post Office, according to his resume.

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