The chief of the Naval Academy police department has been fired following an investigation into sexual harassment allegations even as Navy officials declined to discuss the reason behind his dismissal.
Cmdr. David McKinney confirmed the firing of Naval Support Activity Annapolis Police Chief Lance Royce on Thursday but referred all questions to Naval District Washington.
“I can tell you that the Navy takes the job of safety and security for our people very seriously," NDW spokesman Ed Zeigler said. “It's our top priority. And that Lance Royce is no longer employed by NSA Annapolis."
Zeigler offered no further comment and declined to explain why Royce had been fired.
Royce was on duty during the course of the investigation, Zeigler previously confirmed. It's unclear whether the investigation has concluded. The Naval Criminal Intelligence Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to its website, the Naval Support Activity Annapolis Police Department is a full-service law enforcement agency. Its primary mission is to provide a secure environment at the Naval Academy.
“We are committed to providing the highest standards of public service through adherence to the values of honesty, integrity, and the respect of human dignity to all," the department states.
Royce and the deputy chief of police did not answer calls for comment.
The Naval Academy recently hosted a conference on sexual assault and harassment at the service academies, but the discussion took on the military as a whole.
Arizona Sen. Martha McSally spoke and criticized a system she sees as perpetuating sexual violence.
McSally first revealed her personal experience with sexual violence during a Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearing on sexual assault in the military. She said the rape is one of two unwanted sexual encounters she had during her time in the Air Force.
She urged military leaders to reexamine the learned cultures and leadership structures that might lead service members to perpetrate sexual violence against one another.
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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur.)
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