June 21—A longtime Keene police officer was demoted last month, according to city officials.
Effective May 15, Jason Short was demoted from his lieutenant position as commander of the Keene Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Bureau to a sergeant position as a police prosecutor, the chief of the police said. police Steven Russo in an email earlier this month.
Russo did not respond to emailed questions about what caused it. City Manager Elizabeth Dragon confirmed Short’s demotion but, citing confidential personal information, declined to comment on the reason for it. Short did not respond to a telephone request for comment left on his department’s voicemail last week.
According to Russo, Short has worked at the Keene Police Department for more than 23 years and was promoted to lieutenant on Aug. 16, 2015. Lieutenants command desks within the department or command a shift, Russo said, while sergeants occupy a support position. staff or are front-line supervisors.
The police prosecutor assists the department’s prosecution efforts, working closely with the county attorney’s office, Russo said. Sergeants supervise officers and report to lieutenants, who are responsible for the discipline and performance of subordinates, according to the job descriptions of those ranks. Lieutenants report to captains, who direct the department’s field operations and administrative services and report to the chief of police.
After beginning his career with the Keene Police Department in 1998, Short served as a patrol officer, sergeant and police prosecutor before becoming a lieutenant in 2015, according to information from The Sentinel at the time of his promotion.
Last winter, Short suggested in social media posts that people were disobeying the city’s reinstated indoor mask mandate, which Keene police were responsible for enforcing. At the time, Russo said he was aware of Short’s comments on social media, but that they did not violate department policy as they were not made while on duty or to represent the views of the department or the city.
As of late January, the Keene Police Department had not penalized any person or business for failing to comply with the warrant, which was lifted in mid-February, but instead had instructed officers to notify the public about the order, according to previous reports from The Sentinel.
Last week, Dragon did not respond to an email question about who is now the commander of the Criminal Investigations Bureau. Russo could not be reached by phone for questions Tuesday morning.
The Sentinel submitted a right-to-know request asking the city for documents related to Short’s demotion.
Ryan Spencer can be reached at 352-1234 ext. 1412 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @rspencerKS