Alleged 'abuse of authority' by Agawam officer being investigate - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Alleged 'abuse of authority' by Agawam officer being investigated by A.G.'s office

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)
AGAWAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

An investigation into alleged abuse of authority has resulted in an Agawam police officer being placed on leave.

Agawam Police Chief Eric Gillis said that on May 2, he was told by members of the Agawam Police Patrolman's Association - or APPA - that one officer may have "abused his authority as an officer of the organization."

One day later, Gillis placed that officer on leave and told Agawam Mayor Richard Cohen of the allegation.

The identity of that officer has not been released.

"After contacting the Office of Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni, and advising them of the allegations, the case was referred to the Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey," Gillis explained in a statement released Thursday.

Gillis noted that the Agawam Police Patrolman's Association is the union representing patrol officers in the department as it relates to labor matters.  The group, he added, is self-funded and is in no way associated with the Agawam Police Association, which is a charitable group for a different set of officers.  

"Mayor Cohen and I are sympathetic to the members of the APPA, and are hopeful that this matter will be resolved soon," Gillis said.

Because the findings of the A.G.'s office have not yet been provided to the department and it's an ongoing personnel matter, Gillis noted that additional details into the situation can't be released.  

However, the chief noted that once those findings become available, he will review them and make any recommendations to the mayor, who will then take any action that he feels necessary.

"Should action be undertaken by the Mayor, more details will be released at that time," Gillis explained.

Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.

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