Chicopee mayor calls for investigation into police department - FOX Carolina 21

Chicopee mayor calls for investigation into police department

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CHICOPEE, MA (WSHM) -

The Chicopee Police Department is now under investigation after the mayor was made aware of alleged inappropriate incidents taking place behind station walls.

The announcement came moments after Mayor Michael Bissonnette appointed the acting chief, Thomas Charette, to head the department.

Bissonnette announced Monday afternoon he called for the investigation after different reports arose of sexual harassment and inappropriate usage of a weapon when one officer pointed a loaded gun at another inside the station.

But what could be the most disturbing accusation to come out of the investigation involves five officers who took photos of murder victim, Amanda Plasse.

"It's the kind of thing that shocks the conscience," said Bissonnette.

"I'm shocked and embarrassed for the department," said Chicopee police Chief Thomas Charette.

Plasse was brutally stabbed to death in her South Street apartment in Chicopee back in August 2011.

Bissonnette said while Chicopee police waited on scene for state police to arrive, the officers took pictures of the 20-year-old victim with their cell phones.

Those photos were then shared with people both inside and outside of the department who were unrelated to the case.

The incident was brought to the attention of the department six months after Plasse's tragic death, where Charette worked in the detective bureau.

Charette said his team conducted a report which was passed over to his superiors.

"We completed a report and turned it over to the previous chief and Internal Affairs," said Charette.

However, because the five officers only received letters of reprimand, Bissonnette was never made aware of the incidents until a few weeks ago.

"We made it known to the DA right off the bat," said Bissonnette

"We made it very cleared we were ready to cooperate," he continued.

Plasse's death remains unsolved.

Bissonnette said when a suspect is caught he will make sure the incident does not affect the case.

"We will not let a murderer go free because of this technicality," explained Bissonnette.

"Going forward, with a zero tolerance policy, those kind of issues will not be tolerated," said Bissonnette.

The mayor said former federal prosecutor John Pucci of the Springfield law firm Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP. will be conducting the investigation.

Pucci has 90 days to conduct the investigation.

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