HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Disturbing complaints of sexual harassment have been made inside the Hartford Police Department.
A female officer’s complaint has gone public and while the allegations are troubling, she says the department has done little to nothing since.
A nine-page document was released to Channel 3 by two sources within the city.
The officer raised concerns about a sergeant’s behavior back in May 2018.
She says the department took no action and now she’s blasting them and the sergeant, in a complaint filed on Monday.
The nine-page memo sent from Officer Kelly Baerga, who is also the department’s LGBTQ liaison, was sent to the city’s human resources director.
In it, she bluntly says working at the Hartford Police Department, “created an atmosphere filled with anxiety, hopelessness, and constant and continued fear of retaliation and compromised safety.”
This, after voicing concerns over the behavior of Hartford Police Sgt. Andrew Rodney.
According to the document, Baerga and Rodney are part of the recruitment division and since April of last year, Baerga says Rodney made various comments that crossed the line.
Complaints include gawking at female recruits, making crude remarks about Baerga’s sexuality, and making crude sexual gestures.
The document shows she went to Assistant Chief Raphael Medina and the city’s human resources department with her concerns.
“The very day that the complaint was made, the officer who was accused was removed from the unit to minimize contact with the individual who filed the complaint and a formal investigation was initiated,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.
But filing the complaint may have backfired because Baerga says after Rodney was interviewed he retaliated against her, confronting her at the department and shouting at her and allegedly placing a fake gun in the backseat of her cruiser.
Baerga also alleges she was still paired with Rodney four times after the complaint, making her, “feel incredibly dirty every time he lasers me with his eyes…”
The memo also describes a brief meeting with Hartford’s human resource director Cherese Chery in January.
Baerga told Chery that Rodney wasn’t disciplined and she didn’t feel safe.
Baerga says Chery told her she offered solutions to the department and was curious why nothing was done.
Bronin admits he’s not happy it’s taken nearly a year for action.
“I think it’s taken too long. I said to my team today, we have an obligation to not only investigate thoroughly, but do it swiftly,” Bronin said.
Bronin went on to say the investigation is still ongoing.
Once it’s done, city officials said the police chief and mayor can review recommendations.
Channel 3 reached out to the Hartford Police Union, the internal affairs department and Baerga herself and haven’t heard back.
To read the full complaint, click here.