Independent Report Released On Methuen Police Department

METHUEN, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The City of Methuen released its own report Friday into the troubled Methuen Police Department.

The report, which runs almost 70 pages, cites slightly different issues to a recent report from the state Inspector General, which said there had been "a failure of leadership" at the MPD.

The independent report, done by CNA Center for Justice Research and Innovation, found the Methuen Police Department has no disciplinary policy, no policy on outside employment, and no policy on conduct.

Police officers describe the situation at 'toxic.' Some said discipline seems to be focused on people, not activity.

One officer said "it is scarier to work inside the police station than outside the police station."

The report also notes that MPD's emphasis on having so many specialist roles within its ranks "does not seem justified."

"For example, MPD recently realigned the narcotics investigation function after disbanding the Homeland Security/Narcotics unit," the report says. "However, having six detective plus supervisors assigned to a unit that averages less than one drug sales arrest per week is not an effective use of resources."

In an analysis of MPD employees' open-ended comments, the report found that 60 percent of employees had a negative or concerned attitude toward Department Management and Operations.

"The Dept. is at an all time low when it comes to morale," one MPD employee's comment said. "Good men and women have taken less paying jobs due to the direction this dept. has moved in. Racism is at an all time high."

Chief Joe Solomon, accused of deliberately manipulating salary negotiations to make him one of the highest paid police chiefs in the country, just resigned. Captain Greg Gallant is on leave due to similar allegations with the officer's union.

WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal reports:

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Written by Brit Smith

(Photo: Karyn Regal/WBZ NewsRadio)

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