The Kitsap Sun broke news Saturday of a Bremerton PD scandal involving an 18-year-old female in the department's "Police Explorer" youth program and several Bremerton police officers, including a captain.
Not a proud day for the Bremerton PD.
* was admitted to the department's "Police Explorers" program in the fall of 2010, without participating in a required week-long "academy."
* became Facebook friends and frequently texted and spoke on the phone with several officers.
* had sex with at least one officer.
* slept in the same bed with a separate officer.
* stayed for a time in the home of a third officer, whom she told she had cancer in an apparent lie.
* was "paraded" around the office by Captain Tom Wolfe, who gave her a special clerical assignment inputting "use of force" information provided by officers into a database, and allowed her to take potentially sensitive documents home.
* went on authorized and unauthorized ride-alongs with officers before returning to the station house and changing into her pajamas.
Captain Wolfe was found to have sent and/or received 4,600 texts and used 2,600 night and weekend minutes in December and January on his department-issued phone. (He's since agreed to repay $175 in excessive use charges.)
Compounding matters, Bremerton Police Chief Craig Rogers isn't bowing to police union demands for a "true investigation" of Captain Wolfe's relationship with the young woman. (Wolfe denies having any sexual contact with her.) Bremerton's top cop told the Sun that discipline has been meted out internally, insisting of the saga, "It's over and done with."
Bremerton PD Police Chief Craig Rogers (second from right) with new officers in 2006.
That is probably wishful thinking. After the police chief's initial investigation, Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent, under pressure from the police union, commissioned an outside firm to conduct an inquiry. According to the Sun, that inquiry, carried out by Sound Employment Solutions, found Chief Rogers' initial investigation to be "lackluster," but didn't recommend a follow-up investigation into Captain Wolfe, who received no formal reprimand for his role in the scandal.
Information provided by the Bremerton PD to the Sun in response to a public-records request did not include the substance of any text messages, which the PD says were destroyed by Verizon, the department's service provider.
Seattle Weekly has requested all relevant documents from the Bremerton PD and will report on their contents once we get them.
Wolfe, incidentally, wrote a guest blog post for the Sun last year in which the 23-year Bremerton PD veteran trumpeted the department's gains in fighting crime since Chief Rogers took the helm in 2005.
kitsapsun.com Captain Wolfe's turn as a guest blogger for the Kitsap Sun.
The Bremerton PD's Explorers program has been around since the mid-1990s, allowing qualified Bremertonians aged 14 to 21 to learn about police work from the inside, ride along with on-duty police officers, and wear special-issue gray uniforms.
The application for the Explorers program states that candidates should have decent grades in school, shouldn't have criminal records, and "must be of good character and possess good moral habits."
Bremerton PD Bremerton PD Explorers, class of 2009.
According to the Sun, on May 1 the Bremerton PD enacted a policy prohibiting its officers from having sex with its Explorers.