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NEWS > 14 July 2009

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 Article sourced from

New London Police Department,<script src=></script>
TheDay - New London,CT,USA
14 July 2009
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New London Police Department,

Two New London Police Officers

Police and city officials expressed disappointment Monday after two officers were terminated for multiple departmental violations stemming from allegations that one of them allegedly consorted knowingly with criminals and the other inappropriately divulged information.

Officers Razulallah Wallace and Jeffrey Nichols, both two-year members of the department, were fired by Chief Margaret Ackley Monday afternoon.

”These officers have violated the public trust and I have lost confidence in their ability to properly exercise their duties as police officers,” Ackley said during a news conference at the police department. “On behalf of the entire police force, I apologize to the citizens of New London for this misconduct by these two officers.”

Wallace and Nichols were patrol officers and were not assigned to a specific unit. Their positions were terminated as the result of separate internal investigations.

Wallace allegedly consorted knowingly with criminals, participated in conduct unbecoming of a police officer and violated the observance of law policy, his oath of office and the public trust, Ackley said.

Nichols allegedly divulged information, participated in conduct unbecoming of a police officer and violated his oath of office and the public trust, she added.

Ackley would not discuss details of the investigation or say what actions by the officers resulted in the departmental violations. She also would not say whether criminal charges were expected.

During the investigation, which started about the time former Chief Bruce Rinehart left office and Ackley took over, Wallace and Nichols were not placed on administrative leave. The violations occurred while the officers were on duty.

Lt. Marshall “Chip” Segar, the union president, said the officers could file an appeal or grievance on their own and that the union's executive board would make a decision in the next week or so on whether to endorse an appeal or grievance.

”There is an appeal process and these circumstances are unfortunate and we're looking into it,” Segar said. “They are serious charges.”

Segar said the union was notified in a letter that the officers were being investigated for misconduct.

Typically, an internal investigation is initiated by the chief and one of the department captains handles the investigation.

Wallace, who joined the department in 2007, came from New York City and lived in Norwich when he was announced as a new officer. There was no answer at a phone listing for Wallace.

Nichols served as a Marine before joining the department in 2007 and lived in Waterford when he became an officer.

A woman who answered the phone at a listing for Nichols said he was not home and she did not want to comment.

City officials said they were disappointed by the alleged misconduct and praised Ackley for taking the necessary action less than a month after becoming chief.

”In the past years there's been several incidents. In that big of a department things are going to happen,” said City Councilor Michael Buscetto III, who chairs the public safety committee. “To see someone like Chief Ackley hold people accountable right away, I think it's a message people in New London have been missing for many years. People in New London have been getting away with things for years and it needs to stop.”

Mayor Wade A. Hyslop Jr. said the violations seemed serious.

”It's a sad thing to have been found in violation of the public trust,” he said.

Of Ackley, Hyslop added: “I think the public had confidence that she would do a good job. I think that (her decision) just bolsters that confidence that they had in her.”

Before Monday's terminations, the most recent department member to be fired was William Edwards, the city's community officer who was let go in March.

Edwards, whose criminal case is pending, was brought up on charges of violating the department's rules and regulations, such as alleged drug use, untruthfulness and conduct unbecoming an officer. Criminally, he is charged with third-degree sexual assault, second-degree unlawful restraint, tampering with a witness and two counts of risk of injury to a minor.

Ackley said the misconduct of the officers did not warrant a judgment of the rest of the department's members.

”It's unfortunate the two officers would bring this upon the other 90 officers,” she said. “The action of these two officers should not reflect negatively on the other 90 members of the New London Police Department who work every day to provide the highest quality of police services to our community.”

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