By Mila Besich Lira
Following a brief executive session the Hayden Town Council returned to open session where they held a discussion to terminate officer Aubry Keck or to let him come off probation and work for the Hayden Police Department.
Councilmembers Thomas Lagunas and Rhonda Cooper both stated that they have been concerned that Officer Keck does not always wear a uniform when on duty. Lagunas further expressed concern that Keck stops at Giorsetti’s in the morning. Cooper explained that she felt other staff members would complain but they felt threatened by Officer Keck.
Police Chief S. G. Gillen explained to the Council that officer Keck has been a very good officer and one of the reasons he did not wear a uniform every day was because he worked as an investigator and it was common practice for investigators to wear street clothes. Chief Gillen stressed to the council that terminating Keck could hurt in the prosecution of ongoing investigations including the recent case of second degree murder.
Mayor Monica Badillo explained that she knew Officer Keck has played an instrumental role in several investigations recently. She praised him for his work.
Officer Keck chose to speak to the council and explained his daily routine about how he checks on the staff at the Senior Center in the morning then follows the busses to make sure the kids stay safe. He explained that he does stop at Giorsetti’s to patrol from there and maybe grab a cup of coffee before moving on to other tasks for the day.
Keck’s explanation nor praises from Chief Gillen or Mayor Badillo made much difference. Councilmember Lagunas made a motion to terminate Officer Keck. Councilman Enrique Lopez seconded the motion. The motion passed with a 3-1 vote. Mayor Badillo voted against the termination and Councilmember Maria Munoz abstained from the vote stating she did not have enough information. Councilmember Anna Quesada and Kathy Cruz were absent.