Newly-promoted Boston police sergeant faced discipline for ‘questionable judgment'

BOSTON — Five Boston officers have been promoted to sergeant, including Shana Cottone who had previously been recognized for her heroism but also disciplined for decisions she made.

In 2013, Cottone was one of the heroes of the Boston Marathon bombing and two years later she helped evacuate a North End building during a massive fire.

However, a settlement signed by Commissioner William Evans in April of this year shows that Cottone agreed to a 30-day suspension for three incidents between February 2011 and September 2012 including a physical altercation while intoxicated off duty.

According to the agreement, Cottone served two weeks of that suspension in late March and early April of this year.

Boston 25 News has also confirmed that Cottone was reprimanded for repeating what could be considered a racist remark over the department’s dispatch system.

The Boston Police Department said Cottone repeated what essentially was a typo made by a dispatcher.

Former Boston police officer and Merrimack College criminology professor Tom Nolan spoke to Boston 25 about the promotion.

“She’s a highly-decorated officer, so i think the commissioner wisely promoted her. I think he would be hard pressed to pass her by,” he said. “Any officer has the absolutely right to appeal that bypass.”

Denise Reed of the Massachusetts Association for Minority Law Enforcement officers is a retired member of the Boston Police Department and says Cottone's heroism at the marathon should be weighed alongside what she called questionable judgment.

“Everyone was out there. But that should not erase what else you did, and if you’re going to do that, do that for everyone,” Reed said.

The Boston Police Department released a statement Monday night defending Cottone’s promotion.

“The promotees are taken directly from the eligible civil service list as required by law. Officer Cottone is credited with saving lives after the marathon bombings, she is quite deserving of a promotion and represents the LGBTQ community with distinction.”