Former police chief hired to review UMass Dartmouth’s handling of past incidents

Mar 10, 2023

UMass Dartmouth has hired former Boston Police Chief Ed Davis to review the school’s handling of sexual assault and harassment charges against a campus police officer who was later hired by the Town of Blackstone as a police officer.

Officer David Laudon “engaged in multiple offenses of sexual assault of a female UMD student while on duty as a police officer working for UMD,’’ according to a report issued on behalf of the Town of Blackstone.

The Town of Blackstone was “unaware’’ of these alleged offenses prior to hiring Laudon, the report said. University officials “stonewalled’’ the police background investigation for Laudon, according to the report, and a UMass Dartmouth Police supervisor “made misleading statements’’ about Laudon’s disciplinary history.

The incidents were alleged to have taken place in 2010. Laudon was hired by Blackstone Police in 2013. Laudon has since resigned from the Blackstone Police force, according to published reports.

UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Mark Fuller said in a statement that he has asked Davis’ firm to “conduct an independent review of all the facts known to UMass Dartmouth at the time of these incidents in 2010.’’

Davis will be asked to determine “what processes and procedures were in place’’ when Laudon was hired and to “report the facts on the actions taken by the University, including the campus police’’ regarding the 2010 allegations against Laudon.

Fuller noted that the alleged incidents happened 13 years ago and do not reflect the current school climate. “I state unequivocally that today’s UMass Dartmouth does not condone any behavior such as is described in the Blackstone report.,’’ Fuller said. “My administration does not tolerate sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual violence of any kind.’’

Any incidents of sexual discrimination, assault or harassing behavior should be reported, Fuller said, and “are taken seriously and will be thoroughly investigated and appropriately addressed.’’

There is no timetable for the release of Davis’ report but Fuller said the findings will be made public when they are completed.