Connecticut state police have launched a criminal investigation into the Ansonia Police Department for the alleged mishandling of evidence, according to the Ansonia police chief.
"I have requested assistance from the Connecticut State Police in order to conduct an independent criminal investigation into the irregularities that the Ansonia Police Department have discovered in the processing of evidence within the Ansonia Police Department," said Ansonia Police Chief Kevin J. Hale, in a release.
The State Police Major Crimes Squad arrived to investigate on Thursday night.
State police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance said it's not clear how many cases, if any, could be impacted.
He said that mishandling of evidence could include a variety of things, such as missing evidence, evidence taken without permission and the destruction of evidence.
It's not clear when the mishandling of evidence might have occurred, Vance said.
"Right now, it's too new for us to put a label on it to see if we have anything at all," he said. "Right now, we're in the investigatory stage and that's a fair assessment as to where we're at in this investigation."
Ansonia police are also conducting an Internal Affairs Investigation "to determine whether any department rules, regulations, policies or procedures were violated," according to Chief Hale.
Hale said the investigation stems from the discovery of "irregularities" in the processing of evidence.
"It's very concerning," said Ansonia Mayor James Della Volpe. "We take everything seriously here. The chief is being proactive. The officers should be held at a higher standard."
It's not clear how many people might be involved, but a source familiar with the investigation said one officer in particular is being questioned.
Ansonia police have declined to comment on the issue.