Nearly a quarter of the police force in Medford, Massachusetts, was disciplined as part of a probe ordered by the mayor into the violation of department detail policy at a construction project in the city last year.
Twenty-six of the 112 officers at the Medford Police Department were disciplined for a violation of department policies, Chief Jack D. Buckley told NBC10 Boston Wednesday, without elaborating on the nature of the violations.
On Thursday, Mayor Stephanie M. Burke and Buckley explained that the discipline stemmed from the construction project, but didn't say what the violation was. They did say that all disciplined officers would have to pay back any money they received in violation of the department's detail policy by Oct. 4.
"As Mayor, I'm dismayed and disappointed with the actions of some members of the Medford Police Department," Burke said in a statement, adding that she's confident she and Buckley "handled this matter swiftly, professionally, and with veracity."
In all, 45 officers were investigated, with 15 fully exonerated and three against whom findings couldn't be sustained, the officials said. Twenty officers were suspended without pay and seven received letters of reprimand, the mayor and police chief said. In all, 26 officers were disciplined, they said.
Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan was alerted to the issue, which was investigated by an independent contractor, a former Massachusetts State Police captain, with full access to police records, data and personnel, the mayor and police chief said. The investigation was initiated in June and ended by the end of August.
The investigation focused on the period between February and April of 2018, Buckley had said earlier. He did not say whether any of the officers could face criminal charges.
"While I am disappointed in the findings of the investigation, I have faith in the women and men of the Medford Police Department and believe that the discipline imposed is appropriate to correct behavior," Buckley said in a statement Thursday.
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The officers involved are decent and contrite, he added, and tha tthey will continue to serve the city well.