The Biddeford City Council will again hear comments on sexual abuse allegations against two former police officers after a resident submitted a petition under a provision of the city charter that allows voters to collect signatures to compel the council to meet.

The push for another public forum on the sex abuse controversy comes a week after a City Council meeting erupted in chaos as residents demanded the police chief and deputy chief be removed from office as the Maine Attorney General’s Office investigates a retired police officer.

Mellisa Luedke submitted the petition to City Hall demanding a meeting on or before Wednesday. The city clerk’s office said Monday that it had received 172 signatures from Luedke and certified that 132 of them were by Biddeford residents – above the 100-signature threshold in the city charter.

Supporters of alleged sex abuse victims say they are frustrated that they haven’t been able to speak freely at city meetings and that the City Council hasn’t suspended Police Chief Roger Beaupre, who has headed the department for 34 years. They have called for his suspension during two emotional council meetings in the past month that included alleged victims talking about abuse.

The public outcry began after Matt Lauzon, a 30-year-old Biddeford native who now lives in Boston, went public with allegations that he was sexually abused by Stephen Dodd, who was a Biddeford police sergeant when Lauzon was a teenager in the late 1990s. After Lauzon began posting about his allegations on social media, other alleged victims of Dodd and of a second former officer, Norman Gaudette, came forward to push for their prosecution and an investigation of the Biddeford Police Department by federal authorities.

Neither Dodd nor Gaudette was charged following separate investigations by the Attorney General’s Office. Attempts to reach them have been unsuccessful. Dodd is currently under investigation by the Attorney General’s Office.

Luedke, a supporter of Lauzon and the other alleged victims, said she decided to circulate the petition to force the City Council to meet sooner than its next scheduled meetings on May 19 and June 2.

“Some people in the older generation think this should be kept quiet. They think we’re spoiling the city’s name,” Luedke said. “Then there were people who grabbed the clipboard out of my hand because they were ready to sign (the petition). It’s very emotional.”

Under a provision of the city charter, residents can collect 100 signatures of registered voters on a petition to require the City Council to hold a meeting where residents express their concerns. The council would take the commentary under advisement and decide if any action would be taken at a later date, according to City Manager John Bubier.

City Clerk Carmen Morris said she notified Mayor Alan Casavant and council President John McCurry of the valid signatures, but no date has been set for the meeting. Although the petition sought a meeting by Wednesday, that is not likely to happen because the council already has several previously scheduled meetings this week, including some regarding the budget.

Casavant said residents used the 100-signature rule to call a City Council meeting in the early 1990s to discuss concerns about a development issue. He said he is still waiting for clarification from the city attorney about the format of the meeting, including whether it would be run by councilors or by the public.

“It’s very rare that it’s used,” he said.

Casavant said he understands there are residents who are frustrated because they felt they weren’t able to speak freely at other council meetings, but in council chambers there are limitations on what can be discussed because of employee, privacy and slander laws. During the public comment section of council meetings, residents are not allowed to name specific city employees.

“When people come before a council meeting to talk about these issues, the expectation they may have is that they can say anything,” he said. “The reality is they have to be careful about speaking about things that fall within the parameters of state and federal law.”

Last week, the council unanimously passed a resolution asking the Attorney General’s Office to finish its current investigation of Dodd as soon as possible. The council also asked Sen. David Dutremble, D-Biddeford, to introduce legislation that would remove from state law a provision that prohibits law enforcement officers from commenting on ongoing investigations and to put in place a statewide requirement that registered sex offenders live at least 750 feet away from schools and playgrounds.

The council also asked the city attorney to draft a local ordinance prohibiting registered sex offenders from living close to schools and playgrounds. That move came after residents expressed outrage that a registered sex offender lives across the street from the city’s Little League fields.