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We took the time to transcribe the Mayor’s comments on the Gardner Police Department situation. They are below.
Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson comments on Review/Investigation of Gardner Police Department.
The Mayor stated that it was announced this week that there are personnel changes at the Gardner Police Department, going on to state that those are personnel matters so we can’t say too much, but stating the Chief and Deputy Chief have been placed on paid administrative leave for non-disciplinary reasons. And then the mayor said quite a lot and we quote exactly what he said below:
“We want to highlight that it is a non-disciplinary reason. It’s following votes of no-confidence taken by the 4 police unions. That’s the Patrol officers, the superior officers, so the sergeants and lieutenants, the dispatchers, and the animal control officers. So what’s currently being done is we have currently have someone doing a review of the department’s operations, they’ve interviewed the employees of the department. We’ve just completed interview 35 with that individual. The chief and the deputy chief are also being interviewed as part of this so they are in the process as well. And it’s just a way to find out what’s going on, what could be changed, and how to make the department better. In the meantime, retired Police Chief Vincent Alfano, who used to be the Police Chief in Bolton and Ashland is helping lead the department there. And there was a story and a profile about him in the Gardner News this past week as well. So we want to thank you for your patience. And particularly,in, we’re asking people to remember, that these are personnel matters. That we have to make sure that the review and the investigation that’s happened is done as fair and objectively as possible. So that’s why the specifics of the investigation and what was, the issues that were raised and things like that can not be made public until after the investigation is done, at which case the investigation report will be considered public record and can be obtained at that point. But we want to make sure that everything between what’s happening now and when that report gets released is as fair, honest, and objective as possible and isn’t swayed by some public opinion by the rumour mill going by once the story gets out about something and changes and changes. So that’s why things in terms of the details in terms of the investigation can’t be released now. But we want to let you know that we are doing everything we can to make sure that everything gets done in a quick and efficient manner that’s also effective and fair for those involved. So thank you very much for your patience on that matter as well.”
Mayor Nicholson gave his usual thanks, praise, and condolences during his weekly update. The Mayor has proposed waiving all student athletic fees in the upcoming School Budget. Previously, the fees estimated to be about $100 per student have been covered by various grants and according to Nicholson no Gardner High student has had to pay fees in the last two years..