In Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, the Chief of Police Alexander Brougham was arrested for violating a civil order of protection issued by a judge in family court during a divorce hearing.
The Chief's wife Fedora filed for divorce. The couple has three children.
What is disturbing about this case are not only the public statements made by the Chief's Police Department and town officials, but comments linked to the story by folks, friends or otherwise who have no clue as it relates to domestic violence and related safety issues in any police officers home.
The most dangerous time for a law enforcement wife or girlfriend is when they end the relationship or file for divorce. The judge in this case was correct to issue an order of protection based on sworn testimony provided by Fedora. Who by the way for all of you close personal associates and friends is divorcing Chief Brougham because he is violent and dangerous. I realize none of you who personally know the Chief has never witnessed any behavior that would cause alarm bells or whistles. That is because an abuser acts out behind closed doors. Especially, those in law enforcement. They want you to only see their good side. They set up situations or conversations with others that display exemplary behavior at all times.
Common dialogue among abusive law enforcement officers before, during and after they can no longer control their environment goes something like this:
"You will never walk out of here alive"
"Who the hell is going to believe anything you say"
"I will burn the house down while you and the kids sleep"
"No one will listen to you, everyone knows you are crazy"
"If you leave, the kids will be orphans"
"You do this and I'll kill us all"
"Don't push me, you know what I will do"
Although the above dialogue is from spouses and girlfriends who have already been murdered by their law enforcement partners, it is the warning before the explosion. And Fedora Brougham is fortunate to still be alive. Most family violence victims in the law enforcement community, do not make it this far in the courts without losing their lives. Tragedies of a few lives lost, who are no longer among the living to dicuss their abusive law enforcement home life:
Lori DeKleine, MI
Judt Hammond, TX
Julie Essad, MI
Barbara Vanaman, NJ
Jessica Barber, OH
Jennifer Jacobs, AL
Carli Dennis, TX
Kathleen Savio, IL
Anna Rodriguez, MI
Theresa Parker, GA
A few comments from those who think they know the chief.........
I have known Rick for about 4 years now. He is a good man and great chief. I have had the honor to work with him, and before everyone passes judsgement...understand that these ex-parte orders are given out like candy. They DESTROY men's lives. You are treated like a felon with NO proof or evidence. The word of one female and or attorney...BAMM you are now treated like a criminal. He is a good man and good cop. I work EMS, so this is not coming from another police officer. Just a man who has been tortured by the system for no reason and a person who has worked with him. Wish you the best Rick.- Dave Shaughnessy, Amherst
Dani needs to read the laws again. The order wasn't issued under the domestic violence statutes, it was issued under the divorce statutes and can carry different provisions which don't necessarily include the surrender of firearms.- Leo, Bedford NH
All domestic protective orders (and any incident involving a spouse, family member, former spouse, etc IS domestic under NH Law so this is a domestic case) are first granted on an ex parte, temporary/emergency basis to the alleged victim. The defendant is served. There is a subsequent hearing about whether that order becomes final. Yes, anyone issued even an ex parte temp order must surrender all firearms. Federal law, Nh law aside, does not exempt law enforcement officers from possessing weapons in this situation. I've met and worked with the Chief. He is a wonderful man and I have a great deal of respect for him. But he should be treated no differently (for better or worse) than any other citizen arrested and charged with a criminal offense. Unfortunately, that includes the prying of the media and a verdict in the court of public opinion. I wish commenters here and the public (I'm not excluding myself though I usually play devil's advocate) would always respect the privacy of people dealing with difficult family and legal matters in the courts rather than jumping to conclusions of their guilt. But that seems unrealistic. Everyone deserves the presumption of innocence. Everyone.- Dani, Manchester
To all those concerned with the great unwashed masses poking our noses where they don't belong.Will you be advocating as vehemently for we"unaffiliated" "crazies" when our names are being draged through the mud,over "a simple phone call"?I really didn't think so.It seems Obama may be right when he says "there are two Americas".It just seems to me that some reside in the more privileged one.- Mike P., Manchester
And so begins the court of public opinion. As a neighbor of the Brougham family, I hope for the best for all of them and ask that the rest of you show some respect for their privacy. These are good people facing enough of a challenge in their personal lives without the howl of crazies.- JB, New Boston, NH
Story links: http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/ and http://www.behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/