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Kramer halts Police Promotions

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On Tuesday, September 5 the Hopkinton Select Board progressed speedily through their agenda. An hour into the meeting, they arrived at this order of business:

The Select Board will consider promoting Detective Gregg DeBoer and School Resource Officer Matthew Santoro to the rank of Sergeant, as recommended by Police Chief Joseph Bennett.

DeBoer, who holds a Masters degree in Criminal Justice, is a 24-year veteran of the Hopkinton PD, having joined in 1999 as a Patrol Officer. Santoro was recruited in 2016 and has served as the School Resource Officer since 2018.

Select Board meetings where police officers receive promotions are typically well attended by friends and family, and last night was no exception. But what was expected to be a rubber stamp from the Select Board took a surprising turn.

“I have what may be disappointing news for some,” Select Board Chair Muriel Kramer opened. “I would like to ask this board to wait on this decision for a couple of reasons. We need to complete our departmental review before we entertain promotions, and I hope to do that in September.”

Then, with a slight hesitation in her voice, she continued. “I also want to say out loud to anyone that is being considered for a promotion that I will consider disciplinary records in my decisions of whether to support promotions or not.”

Kramer asked the board to wait on the promotions, and also to consider adding a formal review process to be incorporated into the promotion process.

Select Board members Irfan Nasrullah, Shahidul Mannan and Amy Ritterbusch made various remarks in support of Kramer’s request for the delay.

“I think it’s OK to wait, but it’s too bad we couldn’t have decided this in advance because everybody came tonight,” said Ritterbusch.

“I would like to personally apologize for that. That is on me,” said Kramer. “I did try to get out ahead of this but was unsuccessful, so I accept the burden of criticism and responsibility.”

Board member Mary Jo Lafreniere spoke in strong opposition. “I’ve known these officers for quite a while. I think they have been excellent police officers and they deserve their promotion and they deserve it now,” said Lafreniere, followed by a round of applause from the audience. Lafreniere, visibly disturbed by the proceedings, sat back in her chair with her arms crossed.

“OK, we are going to wait on these promotions,” said Kramer.

Spectators began to file out, with some grumbling.

“That’s an embarrassment,” shouted an unidentified man in the audience.

“Good night,” said Kramer.

“This is ridiculous,” added Lafreniere in disgust.

“I don’t understand how you couldn’t get out in front of this,” said another man. “These are two very respectable officers. This is wrong.”

The Hopkinton Police Department has had a difficult year; they’ve lost key officers, former Deputy Chief Jay Porter was indicted on rape charges, and Sergeant Tim Brennan was placed on suspension for a policy violation. Meanwhile, the department still has vacancies at the Lieutenant and Deputy Chief positions.

A promotion from Officer to Sergeant (Santoro), or Detective to a Sergeant (DeBoer) is not the same as appointing someone to a higher rank, such as a Lieutenant or Deputy Chief. The risk is lower, which makes last night’s events more confusing.

The abrupt way this came before the Board raises important questions.

Why did some of the other Board members seem surprised by the delay? What prevented Ms. Kramer from investigating this matter before putting it on the agenda, and was Chief Bennett apprised of the situation? Was he asked for his input, or was this something that Ms. Kramer decided on her own?

Stay tuned. The HopNews team is digging deeply into why this decision was made in such an unfortunate manner.


  1. Ms. Kramer should be the last person to throw stones after her organization, where, she was the treasure paid the $15,000 bail to release previously convicted rapist and level 3 sex offender Shawn McClinton. McClinton upon release raped and assaulted another woman. Ms. Kramer was publicly criticized but has never apologized for that….. and she is making decisions about who should be a police supervisor????

  2. This is a an embarrassment and a disgrace. Four of the five selectmen chose to demoralize the police department and show no respect to the officers up for promotion and their families or the chief. Kramer’s anti-law enforcement attitude certainly disqualifies her from being fair during the promotional process. Her “not being able to get a head of this before the meeting” was a set up. The agenda is out much before the meeting so there was time to act. She went for shock value. For some egotistical reason she thinks she is entitled to take prior disciplinary issues into her decisions. There are already numerous more qualified groups that act upon disciplinary matters. She just wants her pound of flesh. It’s time that we elect a board that appreciates people that accept risk to serve our community. Thank you Mary Jo for supporting HPD.


    Shawn McClinton sentenced to 25 to 30 years in prison for raping woman inside Dorchester McDonald’s bathroom in 2018

    McClinton had previously been convicted of rape in 2007 in Bristol County, and has been charged with rape and kidnapping from an August 2020 incident which occurred shortly after he was released on bail in the 2018 case.

    His $15,000 bail had been paid by the Massachusetts Bail Fund, which said at the time that it bails out people in pretrial detention based on financial need “regardless of charge or court history” because it believes the practice is “harmful and racist.”

    Then-District Attorney Rachael Rollins denounced the organization’s decision to bail out McClinton.

    “I would have so much more respect for the Bail Fund if they had bailed him out and then let him stay in one of their homes,” she said. “Because that’s what family members and friends usually do when they bail a loved one out.”

  4. Wish I could say I am shocked to read this. My heart goes out to the officer and detective involved and their families who showed up to support them. With her bias of law enforcement and being the treasurer for the bail fund Ms. Kramer should have little or no say here. Hopefully this officer and detective don’t seek employment else where in the mean time. Can’t say I would blame them.

  5. There has been so much crap going on in the police dept……I applaud Mrs Kramer for making sure there isn’t something hidden!! Way to go!!!

    • If Ms. Kramer knew about something ahead of the meeting why not just postpone the ceremony?? Surely she has that ability! I’m sure she even has Chief Bennett’s cell phone number for just these types of occasions. If she had a problem with the promotions, she should have raised it long before the ceremony! There’s no reason to humiliate people like that!

      • The chair sets the agenda and runs the meeting (source: me. I was chair of Upton’s BoS from 2010-11). Since Chair Kramer *knew* she was going to defer action on the promotions, it would have been altogether fitting and proper to notify Chief Bennett that it was going to be removed from the agenda and saved everyone’s time and public embarrassment.

        Any attempt by the chair to have you believe she could not to “get out ahead of this but was unsuccessful” is a complete fabrication; it’s her agenda. The other three BoS members showed no fortitude by following her lead.

    • LTR why are you afraid of putting your real name out there? Ms. Kramer is responsible for writing checks to bail out vicious criminals into our communities without any repercussions for their deadly actions after release.

  6. A simple email to the chief before the select board meeting would have prevented the police officers and their families sitting through a hour long meeting and then being blindsided and embarrassed.

  7. How embarrassing for these officers and their families. So disrespectful. They had an agenda of the meet. They should have and could have easily given them a heads up. Wow Hopkinton get your ducks in a row

  8. Kramer needs to resign. Her anti-police and pro criminal extremism is a detriment to society. We are seeing the impact of this type of action around the country creating dangers to innocent people, businesses closing up shop, and drugs running rampant. Is this who we want representing Hopkinton?

  9. Her organization bails out a rapist who rapes again and the voters of Hopkinton vote her into office. Enjoy Hopkinton, you so richly deserve her.

    Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. HL Menken

  10. Is everything that goes before Hopkinton’s select board a guarantee? So some feelings were hurt there law enforcement they should have thick skin. The police department is a mess and under investigation. Why would the select board even entertain promotions from a chief that’s pal and pick for deputy is facing jail time has fostered a culture has led to such a high turnover. And then there’s Tim the chief is punishing a great officer and person for not reporting allegations to his supervisor (Porter) . He did report it to middlesex county’s top cop. I think no promotions should happen until all investigations are completed and Sargent Brennan is apologized to and back in uniform.

  11. Unfortunate.

    Our legal system provides for bail. That bail is available is, I believe, a testament to the strength and validity of our legal system.

    Being granted the opportunity to be bailed is a decision made by a judge. A judge has to review the case, the defendant, flight risk, likelihood to reoffend, etc and then come up with a $ figure.

    In the above referenced case it appears to ME, that the anger and personal attacks expressed with respect to that particular case are being misdirected.

  12. I can’t be anything but skeptical of anything that comes out of this town government, whether it’s the Select Board or the senior levels of the police department, by now. Now two more officers end up being collateral damage from an institutional failure across the board. The words of Casey Stengel, the manager of the inept 62 Mets, comes to mind: Can’t anyone here play this game? With all the uncertainty swirling around the Hopkinton PD, it is a curious time to start promoting officers, especially with Sgt. Brennan’s status still in limbo. I find it hard to fathom how it takes three months and counting to investigate whether a policy was violated. Meanwhile, a good officer is being paid to sit at home, and these two officers got caught in what looks to me like a power struggle between the Chief and the Board. Nobody here comes out of this unscathed. Wrap up the investigation into the policy violation, put Sgt. Brennan back on duty with full apology for what the town put him and his family through, and fully vet these officers being considered for promotion. The mention of disciplinary records being taken into consideration sounds to me like there is a lot more to this story than just a miscommunication or misunderstanding. I wonder like old Casey, can’t anyone here play this game? The military has a saying for this type of situation: FUBAR.

  13. It seems Hopkinton is not going to be immune from the anti police attitude and soft on crime agenda that has permeated and impacted the rest of the country. I fear the next meeting to discuss this will have Select Board Chair Muriel Kramer further embarrassing these officers.


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