As a town government, we need to be able to look inward, and in this instance, it was clear that the plaintiff was treated poorly, endured unprofessional working conditions, and was discriminated against based on her gender and her status as an expectant, and later, a new mother. We need to take ownership of these facts, because it is the only way to improve. While corrective actions were put into motion as soon as the offended employee came to me with her concerns in 2015, the damage had already been done.
The Town recognized the seriousness of this matter as soon as the Plaintiff made a complaint in 2015. A consultant was immediately hired to conduct an investigation. That investigation led to the discipline of two employees and a number of changes within the department. The Town hired a third-party expert to re-train all officers in the prevention of discrimination and sexual harassment, revamped its discrimination and harassment policies, and built a new women’s locker room to accommodate and protect the privacy of female employees.
In the three years since the officer's allegations, the Manchester-by-the-Sea Police Department has seen a major transformation in culture, most importantly in the hiring of a progressive new police chief in Edward G. Conley, who was formerly the commanding officer of the Chelsea Police Department’s internal affairs division. The department has also recently hired two full-time female police officers in its most recent recruit class, reiterating its commitment to diversity in its ranks.