Officer Fired for Allegedly Using Police Database to Stalk, Harass Women

A Massachusetts police officer was fired for allegedly using a criminal justice database to stalk and harass women. Brennan Polidoro, 30, was let go from the Lanesborough Police Department in the spring following a probe into his inappropriate use of resources, according to a recent report from the Berkshire Eagle.

The probe into Polidoro's use of the database came after former Lanesborough Police Chief Timothy Sorrell became aware of the potential misconduct and produced a 58-page report. The investigation, conducted during Sorrell's final months with the department, determined the officer had used the database to find information on women that had previously or was currently dating. He also reportedly used it to look up women he wished to date in the future.

"Once we found out there was an issue, we dealt with it," Sorrell said about the situation. "If he's a dirty cop, he's going down. It's all about the public trust. I did the best for my agency and recommended to the Select Board that he be terminated—and he was terminated."

massachusetts police
A police officer in Lanesborough, Massachusetts, has been fired for inappropriate use of a criminal justice database. In this photo, a Boston police officer monitors a protest in June 2020. Maddie Meyer./Getty Images

The investigation examined Polidoro's actions from July 7, 2020, to February 20, 2021. Sorrell, however, feels that the full extent of the former officer's misconduct might not have been uncovered. He was ultimately found "to have engaged in conduct unbecoming an officer and breaking departmental rules" by a Select Board. Police are barred from using criminal justice databases to obtain any information that they do not need to perform their law enforcement duties.

Polidoro had been with the Lanesborough police full-time for five years and was the department's only fully-trained drug recognition officer. He is being represented in this case by attorney Terence E. Coles.

"He has filed a grievance pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement which provides that officers may only be terminated for just cause," Coles told the Berkshire Eagle when asked for comment. "Officer Polidoro's grievance alleges that the town did not have just cause to terminate him."

Newsweek reached out to Coles for any additional statements about the case, but did not hear back before publishing time.

Coles told the Berkshire Eagle in April Polidoro never checked names in the database with the intent of misusing the system.

"This Officer then advised [Polidoro] that in talking to people at [database], it was explained...that we can't use CJIS as a personal 'Google' search." Sorrell wrote in his report.

The Berkshire District Attorney has placed Polidoro on the "Brady List," which includes officers that might have been called to testify in criminal trials, but have been found to be "dishonest or biased." Coles has said his client is moving to appeal this decision.