State Police Trooper Relieved of Duty Following OUI Arrest in Stoughton

Stoughton Police arrested Brian Simpkins, a 39-year-old Massachusetts State Police trooper, in the parking lot of the Stoughton Wendy's for operating under the influence (second offense) in the early morning hours of Sept. 21.

The following is adapted from a press release from David Procopio, Spokesperson for the Massachusetts State Police:

The Massachusetts State Police relieved Trooper Brian Simpkins of duty Friday morning following his arrest in the overnight hours by Stoughton Police for operating under the influence and violation of the open container law.

Simpkins, 39, of Canton, was ordered held in lieu of $1,000 cash bail at his arraignment Friday morning in Stoughton District Court.

Simpkins was found sleeping in his personal car, which was running, in the parking lot of the Wendy's restaurant on Washington Street in Stoughton at approximately 2:10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 21.

Stoughton Police officers found an open container of alcohol in his car and determined that he was impaired. Stoughton officers arrested Simpkins for operating under the influence of liquor (second offense) and having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.

Simpkins had a previous OUI charge prior to his employment with the State Police.

He was bailed from the Stoughton Police station and went to court with his lawyer for arraignment several hours later.

Simpkins is assigned to the State Police Barracks in Boston (Lower Basin). He joined the State Police in 2006. In relieving him of duty, a State Police commander took from his service weapon, cruiser, badge, and MSP identification. The department will hold a hearing at headquarters next week to determine a change in Simpkins' duty status.

The State Police Internal Affairs Section will monitor the criminal case against Simpkins and has opened its own internal investigation. The offenses as alleged are contrary to the values, ideals, and expectations of the Massachusetts State Police. If the allegations are proven, State Police will take appropriate internal disciplinary action in addition to whatever criminal punishment the defendant may face.

Christopher D’Arpino September 25, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I believe it is unrealistic to expect every imapired driver to be caught, however I do not think it is unrealistic to expect the police to impart the law fairly and impartially to those they find impaired. Because he is a state trooper he should be brought home to sleep it off with a wink and a nod, but a private prson,not a police officer, should be taken to jail?? Hmmm.....Well Mr. Kennedy,that is not how the system should work. Lady justice wears a blindfold for a reason. The SPD did the right thing, the honorable thing and the respectable thing. they serve this community well and did not show favortism. The police came upon a person with an open container in the drivers seat of a running vehicle,performed a sobriety assessment and acted accordingly... this isnt a tough one... he being a state trooper did not and should not play into it..
Gary September 25, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Words in my mouth, but I expected that. Listen closely. I'm not saying because he's a trooper let him go. I'm saying and this is the time to listen, I don't care who the person was sitting in a parked car. The person wasn't driving I and every rational reasonable intelligent cop would have taken that person cop or no cop out of the car and either placed in protective custody or brought home. Now with lady justice watching I could say that is fair treatment to all. Now in this case where state and local police work together sharing info, resources and assitance i'd have to say the relationship may have broken down a tad. Even in your non-cop mind you must see the problem. Local PD to the state police could you assist us with xyz at the corner of xyz asap!!! Our cruisers are tied up and our k-9 isn't feeling well. Thats right Chris that isn't right for a PD to respond like that. Just like I said in my earlier post rookies need to see reality and its not written in a book or taught in the academy.
Christopher D’Arpino September 26, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Well I certainly agree that from a professional standpoint there might have been a little discretion for the greater good,noargument there... PC'ing him would have been sufficent in that it gets him off the street and takes care of the spirit of the law. Our police force seems to be trying to shake the perception of old and are oding everything by the book,nott hat there is anything wrong with that,but I also see the headlines when they dont arrest the trooper and institute a little discretion... There would be plenty of people blasting SPD for "doing favors" and not treating everyone "fairly". And we all know, this trooper will have plenty of discretion thrown his way in front of the jusge if it ever gets that far... He will go into a program and be reassigned.. The good news is that the perception is Stoughton is zero tolerance so dont try anything here...Given where we were, thats not a bad thing... It is all too easy to critique police when they do things we dont like, I am giving credit when they did something that hit the headlines that isnt a disaster!! I still say they did the right thing given the time and place this department is in and trying to get to. 3 years ago this would have been a very different headline for SPD.
DJ September 26, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Gary, I find your comments disturbing. According to the article, this individual has a prior DUi. It is possible, but highly improbable that he only driven intoxicated twice and was caught both times. You also fail to acknowledge that that trooper had an open container of alcohol in his possession when he was arrested. It's not as though he was at the local bar, pulled in for a snack and realized he was blitzed so decided to park it. He had an OPEN container and in my mind that elevates the circumstances significantly, does it not? What if this trooper received a professional courtesy as you suggest and the next week operated a motor vehicle while intoxicated and killed someone? How do you think the cop that let the trooper off would feel and would he/she and the town/force not be liable for turning a blind eye? They don't act that way with the public so I can't imagine a single positive aspect of maintaining the old boy system at least where the public's concerned.
Gary September 26, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Maybe it's my fault for not pointing out the obvious. A cop is accused of some wrong doing be it a restraining order, dui or blah blah. He faces a judge like the rest but handled much differently. The politics kick in and the judge or prosecutor are afraid of favortism accusations and is dealt a stiffer sentence or harsher bail as in this case. By arresting this trooper he will be suspended more than likely, the courts will show no leniency because of the media and politics and he may even see a bid in a local jail. A local guy in our city was always being arrested for something. One evening he was stopped for OUI. He was visibly intoxicated and distraught. His 18 year old daughter had just died in a tractor trailer vs car accident. I could see he was obviously drunk but I also had to look past the incident and do what would preserve life, (his). He would have certainly been a strong candidate for suicide and I could have been the catalyst. He was placed in a cruiser and brought home. He has turned around quite a bit and now respects cops. Let me end this last post by saying I made the most drunk driving arrests in 1997 in my department. I also chose not to arrest maybe double that number for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons I cut way back on arrests was due to the court. The court had us add negligent operation to the oui charge. This was done for bargaining purposes I'm sure. The OUI would be thrown out and a plea to negligent operation would stick. .


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