Dartmouth police officer dismissed from department

By Douglas McCulloch | Nov 27, 2017

A Dartmouth police officer who faced accusations of domestic abuse last year has been dismissed from the department.

At the November 27 Select Board meeting, members voted unanimously to dismiss Dartmouth Police officer Joshua Luis based on a report prepared for the town by a hearing officer appointed last year.

It is unclear specifically why Luis was dismissed. Town officials did not discuss specifics about the report, and Town Administrator David Cressman said the report is considered a personnel record and is not a public record. Select Board member John Haran said during the meeting the dismissal was “due to misconduct on duty.”

In December 2016, the girlfriend of the then-25-year-old officer was granted a restraining order in New Bedford District Court. In her affidavit, the unnamed girlfriend alleged that between December 2015 and December 2016, there were ten separate incidents of abuse in Dartmouth, New Bedford, and Falmouth.

In one incident, Luis's girlfriend alleged that, while on duty, Luis stopped by her residence and threatened to shoot her with a Taser after a fight. In other incidents, she described being choked and thrown around, and alleged at one point Luis threatened to shoot her and himself if she attempted to leave him.

On the same day the restraining order was granted, Luis filed for a restraining order against his girlfriend, but his request was denied. In his affidavit, Luis alleged that his girlfriend struck him multiple times, squeezed his throat, and used a kitchen knife to leave a mark on her own wrist.

In December, Dartmouth Police Chief Robert Szala confirmed that an officer had been placed on administrative leave. Luis was sworn in as a Dartmouth police officer in August 2015.

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