Mooresville Police Chief Damon Williams.

The town of Mooresville is launching an investigation into the working environment of its police department.

Internal concerns prompted the investigation, which will be led by Huntersville-based U.S. ISS Agency LLC, according to a Wednesday memo to Mooresville Police Department employees from Town Manager David Treme.

Treme issued his memo two days after abruptly announcing his retirement following a two-hour closed session of town board members.

“It is important that every employee of the department, both sworn and civilian, feels free to bring forward any concerns or issues he or she might have that relates to the working environment within the department,” Treme wrote in the memo. “Please be assured that any employee who speaks truthfully with (investigators) will suffer no retribution or retaliation for coming forward.”

Treme is under contract with the town through August 2020. His retirement is effective June 30, the last day of the current fiscal year. Treme, whose salary is $185,400, will not collect a severance package from the town.

The police-department probe is, in part, a response to a recent claim from a high-ranking police official that Mooresville Police Department leadership created a hostile work environment, which, if found to be true, could be classified as workplace harassment.

That employee’s claim came after Mooresville Police Chief Damon Williams called late last year for an internal-affairs probe – which led to a more comprehensive external investigation – into the police department’s narcotics unit, according to department sources.

On Oct. 1, Williams placed three members of the unit on paid administrative leave pending results of the investigations, MPD sources said. Two were brought back on Oct. 17 but were required to continue on administrative duty. A third member of the unit remained on paid leave until all three narcotics officers were reinstated to their positions Dec. 12.

The town paid $20,000 for the external probe, Treme said. It resulted in a suggestion for policy review. Treme said the town does not have a cost estimate for the current investigation.

Chief Williams remains on full, active duty during the probe. He did not reply to a request for comment.

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