Internal investigation of Montague Police Department begins

  • Montague Police Department in Montague. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

Recorder Staff
Monday, November 13, 2017

MONTAGUE — The investigation into the Montague Police Department has formally began, according to town officials at Monday night’s Selectboard meeting.

The town chose APD Management, based in Tewksbury, which specializes in law enforcement internal investigations, according to its website.

Town administrator Steve Ellis gave more information about the firm that was selected after the board approved the contract during last weeks meeting. They hope to keep the cost under $10,000.

Ellis said APD Management is already onsite and the town is aiming for a “relatively brief” process.

Montague Police Chief Charles “Chip” Dodge was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 31 while the town conducts an internal investigation.

“The purpose of the investigation is to acquire a complete and objective set of facts to inform any future action the board may take,” Town Administrator Steve Ellis said in a statement at the time. “Note that the board makes no presumption with regard to the outcome of this investigation.”

The announcement of Dodge’s leave came in the wake of two recent letters — one signed by the Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan, stating the Montague Police Department would not be allowed back into the regional anti-crime task force, and the other by the officers of the Montague Police Union, expressing their displeasure with Dodge’s comments that suggested one of them may have stolen drugs from the town’s drug drop-off box.

These letters came on the heels of a Greenfield Recorder story detailing how Dodge was the focus of the Attorney General’s office investigation into the department’s handling of a prescription drug box program. No charges were filed and the investigation was closed. Dodge shared his story of struggling with addiction last month.