Thursday, January 3, 2008

Poulsbo cop accused of abusing authority to meet wome


POULSBO, Wash – A Poulsbo Police detective is out of a job following a lengthy investigation into his alleged misuse of his police authority, including efforts to meet women.

The detective resigned after an internal affairs investigation cited several specific instances of abuse.

KING 5 received the 61 page report after filing a public disclosure request into the activities of the detective.

The internal affairs investigation, which was launched in September, was conducted by the Bremerton Police Department. It determined the Poulsbo detective used his access to private police databases to gather information on people for his own personal gain.

Among the findings, the detective:

-- Abused law enforcement authority.

-- Violated harassment policies.

-- Made untruthful statements about his behavior.

The report claims the detective "improperly accessed law enforcement databases for other than official purposes." The report says sometimes, the detective accessed the databases from home "likely… out of curiosity and personal reasons."

The report doesn't explain why he did it, but it says the detective ran checks on a former waitress "he had shown romantic interest in," and that records showed that he "ran the name of a Bremerton Police officer" that "many would consider attractive."

The report does not say what the detective was using the information for, but that others within the Poulsbo Police Department had concerns that he was using his position to meet women and that "he was pursuing women in an unprofessional manner."

The report concludes "his actions nearly meet the elements of the crime of stalking."

The report also attacks the credibility of the detective and his statements about past cases and incidents.

He resigned December 11, 2007 after being confronted with the report.

New Poulsbo Police chief Dennis Swiney says the resignation was not forced and that he does not believe a crime occurred.

The Kitsap County Prosecutor's Office says it was unaware of the allegations until being contacted by KING 5 News.

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