Chicopee police under investigation

Dr. Q

The Republican reports that the mayor of Chicopee has appointed “a special investigator to review police department operations in the wake of several incidents.”

This means there are three new incidents that will eventually be added to my police misconduct database.

First, five officers have been accused of sharing cell phone pictures of homicide victim Amanda Plasse with people who do not work for the police department.

The mayor said there is some concern the disclosure that the photos made their way outside the department — and that a police officer lied about the distribution during an internal investigation of the matter — could jeopardize the prosecution of the case should an arrest be made.

“We will not let a murderer out on a technicality,” [Mayor Michael J.] Bissonnette said.

Bissonnette said he was not informed of the incident until recently and that the five officers involved were not disciplined save for letters of reprimand that were placed in their files.

“It’s the kind of thing that shocks the conscience,” Bissonnette said, adding that the photos were taken as Chicopee police secured the apartment in anticipation of the arrival of state police investigators. Bisseonnette said investigators and computer experts believe the cell phone photographs of Plasse did not go beyond that narrow group, or onto the Internet.

Bissonnette said the Plasse family has been made aware of the photo-sharing incident. Family members were not immediately available for comment Monday.

Hampden District Attorney Mark Mastroianni has reviewed the matter and determined that no laws were violated with the sharing of the photos, Bissonnette said.

The article also mentions a separate incident that is under investigation “in which one officer aimed a loaded gun at another officer at police headquarters,” but includes no specific details.

And the article mentions that investigators will be looking into allegations of sexual harassment within the department, but includes no specific details about the alleged harassment.

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