EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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September 6, 2013

Chief of auxiliary police relieved of duty

Mayor Lantigua says decision was not his

LAWRENCE — Jay Jackson, the man who has been chief of the city’s volunteer auxiliary police force for a quarter of a century, has been relieved of those duties pending the results of an unspecified in-house investigation.

The axe fell Wednesday, the first full day after Police Capt. James Fitzpatrick was appointed Interim Chief of the Lawrence Police Department by Mayor William Lantigua. Fitzpatrick took over from John Romero who resigned after 15 years.

Fitzpatrick told The Eagle-Tribune yesterday that Jackson was “relived of his duties” as auxiliary chief after a verbal briefing from command staff on the status of the in-house inquiry.

Jackson, 60, is also a paid civilian facilities manager in the Lawrence Police Department.

Fitzpatrick said he does not know how long the investigation will take or if Jackson’s civilian job in the department is in jeopardy. “I cannot elaborate because the inquiry is not complete,” he said.

Reached by phone yesterday, Jackson declined to comment other than to say he was going to talk with his lawyer.

Fitzpatrick would not comment on whether the investigation is related to an internal affairs investigation of Jackson last year.

Jackson was disciplined last year after several men he supervised complained of sexual harassment. In addition, the officers, some of whom had resigned or been dismissed from the force before filing the complaint, said Jackson did not provide them required training, left violent incidents he happened upon while on patrol and gave promotions, the best equipment and preferred shifts to officers he liked better.

The Lawrence Auxiliary Police Force consists of about 35 volunteers. Its primary goal is to “assist and augment” the sworn force.

Established in 1950, its officers have provided a wide variety of services including patrolling municipal buildings, parks, playgrounds, and other public places. They provide traffic support for road and bicycle races, parades, municipal events and church functions.

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