Webster will receive back pay

DOVER — A Dover Police Department corporal will receive back pay following his acquittal on a felony assault charge earlier this month, a spokesman said Monday.

Cpl. Thomas Webster IV, 42, was placed on administrative leave without pay in May after indictment regarding a jaw-breaking kick to a man’s head during an apprehension in August 2013. On Sunday, Cpl. Webster was placed on administrative leave with pay by the Dover Police Department.

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Thomas Webster IV

Cpl. Webster, with Dover Police for more than 10 years, makes $68,398 annually.

Also, following standard policy after use of deadly force incidents, authorities said, Cpl. Webster must pass a psychological test of several hundred questions before returning to full duty with the Dover Police.

“Dover Police Department’s use of force policy requires that any officer involved in the use of deadly force that results in injury or death must undergo a psychological evaluation before returning to full duty,” Chief Paul Bernat said in a news release on Saturday afternoon.

Based on the results of the psychological examination, Cpl. Webster then will interview with a psychologist, according to Dover Police spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman,

Cpl. Hoffman said Cpl. Webster’s employment status “decision was made late last week with Webster based on Delaware law, employment agreements and departmental policy by the chief of police. The mayor [Robin Christiansen] was involved with the process, but ultimately it was determined by the rules/laws as stated in the release.”

After passing the examination and meeting mandatory training requirements due to his length of absence while on administrative leave, police said, Chief Bernat will consult with the other staff officers to determine his assignment.

“Cpl. Webster will undergo refresher training in a variety of areas that are mandatory for any officer each year,” Cpl. Hoffman said.

“However, since Webster has been off for so long, he will need to make up much of the training that our officers have already had.”

Chief Bernat notified Cpl. Webster of his employment status change once the decision was made and when it would take affect, Cpl. Hoffman said.

Citing the Officers Bill of Rights, Dover Police would not comment on whether Cpl. Webster has been disciplined previously in any way regarding the matter.

On Monday, Delaware Fraternal Order of Police President Fred Calhoun questioned whether Cpl. Webster’s actions represented use of deadly force. If so under Dover Police policy, he wondered whether all city officers deemed to use similar force in the past have undergone psychological testing, and if Cpl. Webster had undergone testing earlier regarding the event why he must do it again.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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