Salem Police Officer Arrested, Later Terminated

January 24, 2014
submitted by Salem Police Department

On October 23, 2013, the Salem Police Department was notified by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office that it was conducting an investigation into excessive force allegations by Salem Officer Joseph Freda.  The Salem Police Department immediately placed Officer Freda on paid administrative leave and cooperated fully with the Attorney General’s Investigation.  The Salem Police Department conducted its own thorough Internal Investigation.  Upon completion of the Salem Police Department’s investigation, Officer Freda was placed on unpaid administrative leave pending an administrative hearing to take place the week of January 20.  Officer Freda was arrested and booked without incident on Wednesday, January 15.

The Salem Police Department does not tolerate excessive use of force from its police officers.  The Salem Police Department has longstanding policies and procedures in place providing guidance for its officers.  The Salem Police Department provides comprehensive, ongoing, and mandatory training for all of its officers on all aspects of police activity, including training on arrest procedures and acceptable use of force.  It is our expectation that these policies will be followed.

On January 21, 2014, Town Manager Keith Hickey reported Mr. Freda waived administrative hearings at the police department and town manager levels.  Hickey, upon recommendation from Police Chief Paul Donovan, terminated Mr. Freda’s employment with the Salem Police Department effective immediately, citing the town’s no tolerance policy with respect to excessive use of force.

Due to the ongoing criminal investigation by the Attorney General’s office, the Town of Salem and the Salem Police Department will have no further comment.  All inquiries should be directed to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office.