Police Sexual Harassment Case: Mayoral Candidates Weigh In

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

 

Democratic candidate for mayor Angel Taveras is renewing his call for a top-to-bottom review of the Providence Police Department—after a GoLocalProv report revealed claims that senior officers hadn’t acted on a sexual harassment claim and had illegally suspended the accusing officer.

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Independent candidate Jonathan Scott said he would go even further, saying he would fire Col. Dean Esserman, the police chief—a position he has maintained throughout his campaign.

“There have been strides made forward but it is time for new blood at the helm in Providence and in the Police Department, as well,” Scott told GoLocalProv. “I reiterate my commitment to re-instate the position of Public Safety Director and my plan to replace the current chief with someone who has come through the ranks and who has the ability to rebuild the morale and support among the department’s officers.”

Taveras: Need to Review Department

Taveras supports having a public safety commissioner, but has said he will not make any decisions about Esserman’s future while he is running for office. If elected, he said he would first undertake a comprehensive review of the department before deciding what to do with the chief.

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“Angel Taveras has been very clear that, upon taking office, he will conduct an exhaustive top-to-bottom review of the police department- including the record of the senior leadership and the department’s hiring, promotion and internal affairs policies,” said campaign manager Lauren Nocera. “While Angel feels it is inappropriate to comment on any pending litigation you can be assured that this review will be comprehensive.”

Department in a ‘State of Turmoil’

Scott said the two cases show a department that is “in a state of turmoil.”

“The recent stories that have come to light involving Officers Daniels and Chin are yet another example of a police department that is in a state of turmoil,” Scott told GoLocalProv. “We have great officers in our department who do great work and we rarely hear of those efforts. It is unacceptable that there is a constant flow of negative news coming from the department that my grandfather and many like him have served so honorably for so many shifts over the course of history.”

“The public deserves a department with strong relationships in the neighborhoods and an absence of scandal,” Scott added. “I will not tolerate any less.”
 

 
 

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