GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Chief Robert Haigh of the Greenfield Police Department was reinstated after he was on paid leave during an investigation, just as a special jury determined the Department discriminated against their only black employee in a separate verdict.
Two city councilors expressed concerns following Chief Haigh being reinstated for a separate investigation, saying discrimination cannot be tolerated within the police department.
Frustration amongst some City Councilors after Chief Robert Haigh returned to work Thursday. It follows a months long investigation brought on by Mayor Roxann Wedegartner. It found no evidence of wrongdoing from a conversation in a parking lot at Hampshire County Superior Court.
“I cannot believe he was reinstated because he does not have the trust of the city council, he does not have trust of the town,” said Greenfield City Councilor Douglas Mayo.
While Haigh’s name was cleared in that investigation, the concern remains with the verdict of a special jury, which found the Greenfield Police Department discriminated against retired Officer Patrick Buchanan.
City Council President Sheila Gilmour said while it made sense to reinstate Chief Haigh based off the “narrow scope” presented in the executive session, the city has to take a broader look at the issues the trial brought to light.
“When this came to light people were up in arms, they want real change and they don’t feel like they can get real change if we still have the same people in charge,” said Gilmour.
The City Council is in the process of developing a task force to look at alternatives to policing.
22News once again reached out to the Mayor’s office as well as the Greenfield Police Department. The mayor was unavailable Friday, meanwhile the Greenfield Police Department did not get back to us.