Internal investigation into harassment within Green Bay Police Department released

Posted: 8:13 PM, Feb 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-28 02:19:18Z

The internal investigation report into claims of harassment and bullying within the Green Bay Police Department has been released through our open records request. The nearly 250 page document details instances of bullying, intimidation and harassment on the night shift directed toward a small group of people.

The internal investigation began in December 2016. It involved interviews with 29 members of the Green Bay Police Department and 18 months of reviewing internal messages.

The report said a substantial amount of the inappropriate comments were made through messages sent between officers over their mobile data terminals in their squad cars. Other comments were made verbally. A few examples from the report included a racial slur, derogatory messages about an officer's medical condition, sexually explicit statements, a picture posted of an officer that was determined to be harassing in nature, and an officer voicing concerns over how two female officers used their time both on and off the clock.

On Tuesday, the police chief said the comments violated policy and won't be tolerated.     

"Certainly I expect that there's banter back and forth in any organization, but when that goes beyond friendly, good natured kidding, it rises to the level of misconduct," said Chief Andrew Smith.

Also in the report, several officers were accused of either not providing truthful answers to investigators' questions or being evasive which lead to multiple interviews having to be done.

As a result of the investigation, a lieutenant and an officer resigned. A third officer in question stepped down over a separate investigation into falsifying reports. Six other officers received unpaid suspensions from one day up to 30 days, and they had to undergo retraining on harassment.

"I think it's behind us now, and I think you can rest assured that Green Bay Police Department is a solid organization where people treat people right and where people police constitutionally and people know that they're going to be held accountable for their actions here," Chief Smith said.