The Town of Tonawanda’s Town Board voted unanimously to authorize Supervisor Joe Emminger to terminate Police Department dispatcher Brett Rider on sexual misconduct allegations that the Town is refusing to disclose to the public.
Rider is declining to make public comment on the misconduct allegations on the advice of his attorney, Paul Weiss. The Chronicle is unable to test the veracity of widespread rumors that Rider was propositioned by a married woman, but days after the tryst her husband learned of the encounter and was displeased. He is thought to have filed a complaint against Rider, who has deep ties in the community.
Some expect Rider to file a lawsuit against the Town, presumably for wrongful termination and reinstatement. Others suspect that he is in possession of explosive information regarding the Department’s current leadership — and that he may or may not present it to the Western District of New York.
The Town of Tonawanda is known for having a young and exceptionally attractive police force, which has long been a subject of much social commentary.
“It’s not uncommon for women to proposition you when you’re in uniform,” notes one officer in his late 30s who asked not to be named. “Of course, you could never have sex on duty and you have to be compliant with department policy at all times, but it’s a nice compliment to hear from time to time if she is being respectful about it.”
A women’s group calling themselves the Coalition of Suburban Women Voters has been advocating for departmental policy changes that would allow officers to receive ‘sexual gratuities’, so long as they are not requested, coerced, or exchanged to avoid arrest.
The group had planned a succession of speakers at the Monday night meeting, but much of the group became anxious after the issue started gaining media attention. They intend to continue to push for the policy changes, irrespective of officer Rider’s employment position, but they insist they need more time to finalize the precise policy language so that it is more polished for public presentation.
While the meeting was being conducted inside of Town Hall, a pro-police group was rallying support outside — marching down Delaware Avenue and to the police department’s headquarters on Sheridan Drive.