Connecticut state police officials have named a liaison to gays as part of a plan to address allegations of workplace harassment. The appointment Wednesday grew out of a meeting with the Gay Officers Action League of New England to discuss allegations of workplace harassment of rank-and-file officers. The meeting itself was prompted by the reassignment of Lt. Wayne Rioux and Master Sgt. Fred Peters, supervisors from Troop B in North Canaan, after allegations that they had made inappropriate remarks. Public Safety Commissioner Arthur Spada, state police colonel Timothy Barry, and state police union president Mark Wallack met Tuesday with leaders from the gay action league.
"I think it was a historical and productive meeting," said Springfield police detective Michael Carney, vice president of the gay action league. "We've been dealing with the Connecticut State Police for several years and have never gotten a formal meeting." Barry said the department must create an atmosphere in which everyone is accepted. "By the commissioner and I attending the meeting, we were trying to send that message," Barry said.
On Wednesday Spada named Sgt. Nancy Vitone, commander of the employees assistance division, as liaison to gays and lesbians both inside and outside the state police organization. "I also said we would look at the training curriculum, both in the academy and in in-service training," Spada said Wednesday. "If there is a problem, we will address it."