A second Harford police officer has made a sexual harassment complaint, following another sexual harassment complaint that raised questions about the overall culture at the department.
In the first case, female officer sent a memo to HR several weeks ago following up to a previous complaint that alleged a sergeant made inappropriate comments to her. That memo, which was brought to the attention of the Hartford City Council, claimed the sergeant made inappropriate comments on multiple occasions, and that despite the complaint previously filed on her behalf, nothing was done over the course of nine months.
The memo said that this lack of action is representative of a larger problem at the department, and went on to say the officer felt the accused may be protected because he is a supporter of Mayor Luke Bronin.
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Officials say they received a complaint from a second Hartford police officer Wednesday, and per new procedures put in place in response to the first complaint, an independent firm is investigating. There is no indication that the complaints are related at this time.
Hartford Police Chief David Rosado provided NBC Connecticut with the following statement in response to the new complaint:
“This is a serious allegation, and the city has asked an independent investigator to begin looking at this complaint. As a department we have also taken steps to minimize contact between the officer and the individuals mentioned in the complaint, and we have met with the officer to outline the process and let her know she will be kept apprised of the investigation throughout.”
Mayor Luke Bronin also released a statement:
“We take all allegations of harassment seriously. When we received this complaint yesterday afternoon, our Human Resources Department reached out to the officer immediately in order to let her know about the investigative process and offer any support she needs. We have asked an independent firm to begin investigating this complaint swiftly and thoroughly.”
The mayor has instituted new procedures in response to the original complaint, including use of an independent investigator for any such complaints, work to implement a formal communication process for all city employees in the case of a harassment complaint, and monthly reviews by the Chief Operating Officer on the status of pending EEO complaints to ensure they are being addressed in a timely manner.