Smyrna awaiting results of study on police department allegations

SMYRNA — There’s no report yet on an outside investigation into the Smyrna Police Department.

Findings may be coming soon, the town’s mayor said Tuesday.

“I would predict in the near future,” Mayor John L. Embert III answered when asked about a possible release date.

“We’re just waiting too like everyone else is.”

On June 19, 2017 Smyrna Town Council hired New Jersey-based Protocol Security Partners LLC to probe allegations that followed a police union no-confidence vote in Chief Norman E. Wood roughly a year earlier.

Council allotted up to $20,000 to fund the investigation, and Mayor Embert said Tuesday that amount had not been exceeded.

“As far as town council goes, we’re just like everyone else in town – we want to get it resolved for the sake of the residents and move on with addressing other issues designed to make Smyrna the best community it can be,” Mayor Embert said.

“I’m sure the police department is just as anxious as we are to move past it.”

Waiting for a completed report is “part of the process,” Mayor Embert said.

“If you’re going to do an investigation time must be spent to exercise due diligence in making sure all the facts presented are correct.”

Mayor Embert said he expected town council to receive the findings in a closed executive session and then follow the town solicitor’s advice on how to handle them.

In an executive session with town council on July 18, 2016, Smyrna Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 22 representatives pointed to a supposed lack of departmental communication, personnel and staffing concerns, violations of policy and procedure, failure to train, and inoperable and/or outdated equipment.

Chief Wood earlier declined comment on the investigation but did say, ““The people of the Town of Smyrna can rest assured that their police department is fully operational, fully functioning and providing all police services available to the citizens for their protection and safety.”

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