Detective Suspended For Proposing 'Dead Pool' Wager On First Murder Of 2021

Policeman with police badge

A detective with the Hartford Police Department has been demoted and suspended without pay for proposing to create a "Major Crimes Dead Pool."

Authorities said that Jeffrey Placzek sent a text message to a group of 19 officers and court officials, suggesting they place wagers on where the first homicide of 2021 will take place. He said that for $20, they could pin a location on a map of the city where they thought the first murder would occur. Whoever was closest to where the first murder of 2021 happens would win the entire pool of cash.

Officials said that no wager actually took place.

"This represents an appalling lack of judgment, an extreme insensitivity toward our community, and a clear violation of Department policy for which there will be serious disciplinary consequences," Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody said in a statement on Facebook. "In a year when we have solved more homicides than any year in memory, it also does a disservice to the incredibly hard work that so many of our officers are doing on a daily basis to prevent and solve serious crimes."

Officials also suspended Lt. Paul Cicero, who supervises the Major Crimes Division, pending the outcome of the investigation. They said that other officers who received the message could be disciplined as well.

Placzek's suspension will last for 120 days. He will have to participate in a restorative justice program and complete a fitness for duty evaluation in order to be reinstated.

The 16-year veteran of the force is expected to challenge the punishment. Under the union's rules, a hearing will be held to determine whether the suspension and demotion should be upheld.

Photo: Getty Images

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