Harrison residents rally around police department
Amid the mayor?s call for an independent investigation into the town police department, Harrison residents are rallying in support of their officers.
More than 200 people gathered at Harrison Town Hall Thursday night to show their support for their officers, who have recently been barraged by several civil lawsuits, most of them filed by attorney Jonathan Lovett.
In wake of the lawsuits, the town board voted unanimously to hire an independent investigator to look into the situation. Now, residents are unifying to voice their support for the officers and to express their anger that they were not able to speak their opinions before the town board made its decision.
At the center of the battle are Mayor and Town Supervisor Joan Walsh and Police Chief David Hall. Walsh supports the investigation, saying she believes it is important for citizens to have faith in their officers. Hall, on the other hand, says that the decision to investigate will cause the officers who protect the neighborhood to constantly worry about whether or not they are doing the right thing.
The decision to seek the probe was prompted by the latest of 11 recent lawsuits filed against Harrison police. The lawsuits started last year when some disgruntled officers sued the department over a suspicious camera found in a police locker room.
More recently, three officers?including the number two man on the force, Capt. Anthony Marracini?have all been named in a civil suit brought by a local teenager. The teen claims that one cop fondled her and others forced her to watch a sex tape she had made when she was 15. The allegations come from the middle of a drug bust, but police say the teen was just frisked and that the tape was taken as evidence of statutory rape.
The independent investigator will be selected by the town board, not the mayor?s office.
Harrison mayor urges outside probe of police dept.