An early headline in last week’s story in theLoop about the new Larchmont Police Chief, Chris McNerney, implied a personal involvement in a current harassment suit against his former Department in Greenburgh. McNerney is named in the suit primarily because he oversaw the Department. theLoop apologizes for the headline error.
Chris McNerney, Larchmont’s incoming Police Chief, sat down with two reporters from theLoop to talk about his tenure in Greenburgh, his leadership style, and the lawsuit filed against his former department alleging sexual harassment.
McNerney was Police Chief in Greenburgh from 2013 to 2019, worked for a year as Chief Investigator in the Westchester District Attorney’s office, and came back to Greenburgh as Chief from August 2020 until being hired by Larchmont effective this month. McNerney also holds a law degree.
In January, 2019, while McNerney served as Chief in Greenburgh, a suit was filed against the Department by Police Officer Kristin Stein, alleging Stein was sexually harassed by another officer in 2019, while other male colleagues looked on, in an incident which was partially caught on video tape in the Greenburgh Police headquarters. Later, the suit alleges repeated forms of harassment when members of the Department learned she is bisexual.
theLoop is awaiting comment from Stein’s attorney.
McNerney says he is named pro-forma in the lawsuit. “I’m a named party in a lawsuit, this lawsuit will be litigated in court, and I’m very confident that the truth will come out during the process and justice will prevail,” McNerney says.
“During the vetting process, Larchmont spoke to the attorneys at the center of the litigation and they were told by the attorneys there’s little to no exposure with Chief McNerny.”
While Chiefs of Police are generally named as defendants pro forma, there is an allegation that specifically alleges Chief McNerney interfered with the plaintiff’s transfer to the County Police. Chief McNerney is looking forward to litigating this and all other claims in court and cannot discuss specifics of the case.
As far as his policies on sexual harassment, McNerney says he encourages anyone who has experienced any form of harassment to come forward.
In Larchmont, one of his first priorities will be to get State Accreditation for the department. The police department would adhere to 120 standards; accreditation “acknowledges the implementation of policies that are conceptually sound and operationally effective,” according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.
Among his achievements in Greenburgh, McNerney implemented a body worn camera program, the first agency in Westchester County with full patrol deployment, re-instituted the Street Crime Unit and created a special victims unit.
McNerney and his wife live in Ardsley, and have three children, ages 18 to 24.
They should have waited for the process to resolve itself before appointing him or anyone else to the vacancy