Tisbury Police sergeant placed on leave

Sgt. Jeff Day has been on paid leave since Feb. 18.

Jeff Day, shown here at a 2019 select board meeting where he was named sergeant, is on paid administrative leave. — George Brennan

Tisbury Police Sgt. Jeff Day is on paid administrative leave from the department. Tisbury town administrator Jay Grande, who is also the town’s personnel director, has declined to say why Day is on leave. 

In an interview with The Times on April 13, Grande said Day has been on “non-disciplinary” paid administrative leave since Feb. 18. Grande said he’s not at liberty to disclose any details of Day’s leave because it stems from a personnel matter. The decision to place Day on administrative leave, Grande said, was made jointly between himself and Tisbury Police Chief Chris Habekost. The Times spoke with Chief Habekost in the Tisbury School gym just after the 2022 annual town meeting and inquired if any officers were on leave. Chief Habekost said one was on leave but declined to name the officer. He said only the personnel director can answer that question. 

Day didn’t immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment. Grande said he expects Day will return to work at the police department. While the reason for Day’s leave remains unknown, Day has a record of serious disciplinary infractions during his time at the department. An internal investigation report alleged he stole a handgun while he was a Chilmark Police officer after a citizen turned it in for disposal and that he later lied to his superiors in Tisbury about that situation. Police reports and other records show Day falsely arrested the wrong person because he believed the way the man walked was similar to somebody else with an outstanding warrant. Records also show he never asked for identification and apparently sent the arrestee off to the Dukes County Jail in sunglasses and a cowboy hat — personal articles he allegedly never asked the arrestee to remove for better identification. 

Day is presently caught up in a case in Edgartown District Court involving Eugene Jemison. With the apparent knowledge Jemison had a suspended license, Day allegedly told Jemison to move a car from the Vineyard Haven Post Office area and then allegedly pulled him over for operating with a suspended license once he moved the vehicle. In addition to seeking a large body of records from the Tisbury Police Department, Jemison’s lawyer, Ryan Searle, has filed a motion to suppress evidence on behalf of Jemison and another client, Josuel Desouza. The motion seeks to apply the so-called Brady rule or Brady-Giglio rule.

“The Brady Rule, named after Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), requires prosecutors to disclose materially exculpatory evidence in the government’s possession to the defense,”  online material from Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute states.  “Brady material” or evidence the prosecutor is required to disclose under this rule includes any evidence favorable to the accused — evidence that goes toward negating a defendant’s guilt, that would reduce a defendant’s potential sentence, or evidence going to the credibility of a witness.”

It’s unclear if Day is the subject of the motion, however, as the Tisbury officer the motion is targeting hasn’t been disclosed in court.

The testimonial credibility of officers can be undermined if they are found to have Brady rule liability.


  1. I just hope John Cahill who will become our next new selectman really changes the direction of our town!
    Constant serious negative news about our town does us absolutely no good.
    I am also glad that George and Rich from the MV Times have been finally bringing a lot of things to light that has been going on in Vineyard Haven for a very long time unchecked.

  2. What did he do NOW?!

    To be on paid vacation for 2 months, it must’ve been something swell, no?

    Middlesex DA PUBLISHES their Brady List.

    No Cape & Islands DA candidate gets my vote until they publicly pledge to do the same.

  3. I am absolutely shocked the fine reputation of the most professional law enforcement agency on Martha’s Vineyard could be undermined by this faithful public servant!
    Someone owes this officer an apology and a pay raise. Immediately.

  4. It’s about time, killing turkeys, stealing guns, making false arrests! Exactly when will Tisbury learn?
    And they want to bring him back…. Just wow.

  5. There are a number of reasons why people decide to go through the rigorous training ,education, and various hurdles necessary to become a police officer. After that training ,they are given extraordinary power that they can use at their discretion in situations that require split second life and death decisions.
    Their job requires that they possess it.
    I am sure it is a daunting responsibility that the great majority of police officers take very seriously.
    In my opinion. 99.9% of officers, particularly on this island, are dedicated to the concept of “to serve and protect” . But there are a very small percentage of police officers who choose this career because they crave the power.
    We see the manifestation of that craving all too often.
    It’s clear that animals like Deric Chavin relished that power like a high school bully as he murdered George Floyd. We have many examples of police brutality. Often, after an incident that brings an offending officer into the national spotlight, we find there is a pattern; there are often “warning signs”.
    Right here, right now, in our community, we have red flags flying all over the place about an officer on the V.H police department.
    I have met this man– My flags were up in less than a minute.
    Do we really have to wait until something goes seriously wrong ?

    • I do believe it has already gone ‘terribly wrong’ don. He has stolen a gun, lied, and arrested someone depriving them of their freedom falsely. At this point it can only get worse…

  6. Where is Tim Rich when the island needs him? All jokes aside the idea that towns don’t listen to the past records of transfer police from one town to the next idk what to call it is getting more and troubling. DD needs to be done and victims accounts should be taken. Angry Island police need help. It’s a chill job relax if you want more action, go off island. This guy has been giving the island trouble since I was in high school 1998-2002. And he’s not the only one.

  7. What if the town officials that hire employees for the town, go through a hiring agency. Tisbury seems to have repeated offensive people that then costs us, in the long run, more than what a good agency would have.

  8. The troubling thing really should be why did he steal the gun. Was it such a cool weapon he had to have it on the spot and did not want to purchase his own? That’s a pretty horrifying thought about someone who makes decisions daily that have grave impact on many people’s lives. The alternative reason is nearly unthinkable, but someone better think about. A weapon that has been entered into the data base as destroyed would be of exceptional value to some people. A shame the police cannot sell these weapons to legally licensed purchasers. I’m sure the mental health system could use the cash. Or how about using all that money to raise teacher’s salaries. But no, we get photo ops of piles of guns and cops stealing them. I’m old now, and allowed to be cynical, but dude, don’t the other police, all those good police that society so desperately needs, know how bad this is?

  9. It is very hard to find something new to say about the Tisbury Police nefarious goings on that has not already been written.
    I just can’t understand for the life of me why they are still employed by Tisbury.
    Surely they are better suited to be sorting out recyclables at the transfer station or sanitizing the public restrooms.
    Their idea of “law enforcement” has already damaged too many lives and cost Tisburys liability insurer too much $$$.

  10. I had a few horrible experiences with Day and in all three I was the complainant (new islander) calling about a born and raised. Day made that clear to me “we don’t make complaints against our own.”

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