Food by VICE

School Cops Busted for Selling Soda to Students

The side hustle grew out of Connecticut's ban on soda in public schools.

by Jelisa Castrodale
Aug 29 2018, 10:05pm

Photo by Kim Kulish/Getty Images

It has not been a great summer for the Connecticut school system. Earlier this month, sexagenarian sisters Marie Wilson and Joanne Pascarelli were arrested for allegedly stealing $478,588 in lunch money during a five year period. Both of them were long-time cafeteria workers in a New Canaan high school and a middle school respectively. Their alleged thievery was as low-tech as it gets: according to their coworkers, the sisters counted the cash in the register drawers after each meal, and a not-insignificant amount of it went into their own pockets.

Less than 40 miles away in West Haven, two school resource officers from the city’s police department have been accused of “running a side hustle” out of their office at West Haven High School. According to WTNH, Officers Kim DeMayo and Doug Bauman have allegedly been selling black market sodas to the students. The state of Connecticut banned soda sales in public schools more than a decade ago, and as Officers of the Law, these fizz pushers should know what’s what.

A former police sergeant snitched on them in an internal memo back in 2015, citing the, “integrity issues of police officers selling and potentially making profit” by selling soft drinks to teenagers.

“When the administration found out the officers were selling soda, their supervisors were immediately contacted, and put an end to it,” Neil Cavallaro, the West Haven Superintendent of Schools, told the station. “We work very closely with the West Haven Police Department. I have been assured the matter was handled, and am confident nothing similar will happen in the future.”

The Police Department refused to comment on the allegations. Lee Tiernan, the city of West Haven’s attorney, spoke up though, calling Officer Tattletale’s story “hearsay” and suggesting that if the officers did sell soda to students, it was “inadvertent.” (We’re not sure how you accidentally exchange money for a can of cola, but it sounds like maybe Mr. Tiernan might want to ask about that White House Counsel vacancy).

Although the whistleblower spoke up in 2015, the school’s principal told the station that she was unsure how long the underground soda ring went on. On the bright side, at least West Haven’s lunch ladies haven’t broken any laws. Yet.