To the Editor:
I am writing in response to [West Roxbury Patch's] article of January 22 in regards to the actions of Paul Durkin and his pension.
After reading your article I am sure that I would be correct to assume that anyone reading this article would feel no sympathy in his loss of pension. The picture that you paint of a drunken off duty Boston Police officer abusing his power and the negligent use of his service weapon would surely sour anyone’s opinion.
Let me tell you a little about this man before judgment is passed.
Paul is a son, brother, father and grandfather.
Born and brought up in the Hyde Park section of Boston, Paul chose to begin his life calling of helping others by enlisting in the US Army upon his graduation from the Catholic Memorial School. He was proud to serve his country and this was the beginning of his law enforcement career serving in the military police. After his honorable discharge from the service, all that was important to him was to continue in the service of others as a Boston Police officer. I remember one of the proudest days of his life was graduation from the police academy.
Over three decades of unblemished service to his country and fellow citizens that fateful night fell upon him.
Actions of his, yes do deserve punishment. Actions of which he has taken full and sole responsibility for and has never placed blame on anyone but himself. As Paul has said over and over again “The worst five seconds of his life.”
A lot went on that night, a lot and only a few know the complete truth. Paul’s career as a police officer ended that night.
I don’t know if there could have been a greater punishment given to him than the loss of a job he truly loved and lived for.
But to strip away his career and negate all the good he had done over the years for that one moment of poor judgment seems to me excessive. This is not an individual who had taken advantage of the system all these years, not so uncommon in Massachusetts politics, looking for his “Golden Parachute”. This is an individual that in the blink of an eye lost everything he had worked for. With this stupid act, thank God no one was seriously injured, his life was flipped upside down and to this day his is not the same man.
Does he deserve punishment? Yes, but does he deserved to be punished for the rest of his life? No!
Denying his pension is just this, life long punishment.
I know, I can honestly say, he has helped a tremendous amount of people in his decades of service as I am one of them.
I am truly a better man for all the help and knowledge he has brought me over the years.