Gardner MA Police Report Details

In very clear wording, the Executive Summary of the Gardner Police Investigation Report states that the votes of no confidence were either substantiated or had merit.

Gardner MA Releases Executive Summary of Gardner Police Report

The Executive Summary of the Gardner Police Investigation Report has been released. For the document, CLICK HERE. In addition, the Mayor’s Office released a response to a public records request by another member of the local media. CLICK HERE.

What the Report Shows

The Executive Summary dated April 26, 2022 is in the form of a memo from Gardner’s Director of Human Resources Debra A. Pond to Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson. She indicates that she has “reviewed the investigation file and findings for the Police Department investigation as provided by Paul J. L’Italien, Licensed Private Investigator. …the report cannot be produced publicly so I am providing the following executive summary…”

Beginning of the Investigation was January

The summary shows that the investigation dates back to Wednesday, January 20, 2022 when the Investigator spoke with City Solicitor John Flick regarding certain complaints received by the City “so that the City could properly address the personnel issues raised.” “The complaints received by the City consisted of votes of no confidence by all four (4) unions in certain Police Department personnel.

Subjects of Inquiry

As reported previously, the Chief of Police, Deputy Chief of Police, and Head Police Dispatcher all received no confidence votes. The Head Police Dispatcher subsequently resigned and the Chief of Police and Deputy Chief were both placed on administrative leave on or about the beginning of February 2022. “The investigative directive was to conduct interviews of the employees…to hear their concerns and reasons for participating in the vote(s) of no confidence….During the course of the investigation, the Investigator interviewed forty-eight (48) current and, in some cases former employees.”

Conclusions Reached

“The Investigator reported that after careful review and consideration of all available materials from the vote(s) of “no confidence” and the interviews of forty-eight (48) current and former employees of the Department it is his opinion that the vote(s) of “no confidence” against two of the employees are substantiated. The Investigator also reported that the vote of “no confidence” by the Dispatch union against a Dispatch employee also has merit.”

The Investigator provided the following conclusions

“The Investigator provided the following conclusions: Inconsistent management is a problem in itself, but more importantly it delivers a message to the officers and employees which causes confusion, has an adverse effect on morale and most importantly can negatively impact the delivery of safe, efficient and effective police services to the community.
Day to day management should be a hands-on, face to face opportunity to direct, guide, oversee and supervise. Interactions should include praising good performance in public and taking appropriate corrective actions for poor performance in private. Both need to be done contemporaneous to the event to have a maximum impact.
The current management approach in place at the Gardner Police Department is not working. It has exasperated the work environment and has caused a negative effect on the work product of high-quality police services, emergency communications and animal control services to the Gardner community.
It is the Investigator’s opinion that the current management approach needs to be abandoned as a continuation of the current management approach would further exasperate the workforce and the city would be faced with the strong probability that additional employees (sworn and non-sworn) would leave the police department.”

Gardner Magazine will publish more information on the future of the Gardner PD Chief and Deputy Chief as it becomes available.