The police chief has suspended a “school resource officer” — a cop assigned to a school — for 10 days after an internal affairs investigation concluded that he acted improperly with a female student.
Police Chief Anthony Campbell announced the discipline at Thursday night’s monthly meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners, at which internal affairs chief Capt. Anthony Duff reported on the internal investigation.
The investigation centered on the complaint of a New Horizons High student that school resource officer Jeremie Elliott had shown her “unwanted sexual attention” by “standing too close, staring at her body,” making remarks on social media, and asking to meet her off school premises, according to the police.
IA found that the allegations were true and that the officer violated both a department general order forbidding conduct unbecoming an officer as well as a city policy governing use of government computers, Duff reported. His office sent the report to Campbell, who suspended Elliott for 10 days. He added three more days’ suspension in abeyance, meaning he doesn’t serve them at this point. Campbell said he has reassigned Elliott to patrol. He said Elliott will not work in the schools or in emergency services.
Asked why Elliott wasn’t fired, Campbell said that he was dealing with portions of the complaints related to actions that occurred while Elliott was on the job, which included “being in people’s personal space” and “had more to do with teachers than it did with students.” The complaint included off-duty conduct that “may be morally reprehensible to me. It may be offensive. But I can only discipline for what I’m responsible for.”
The department is in the process of redacting portions of the IA report so it can be released in response to Connecticut Freedom of Information Act requests. At that point more details of the incident will become public.
posted by: concerned_neighbor on March 17, 2017 8:43am
heightster77, nice catch! I’m an avid reader of NHI but I missed that story.
Editor: Acting Chief Campbell’s response warrants follow up. “Campbell said he has reassigned Elliott to patrol. He said Elliott will not work in the schools or in emergency services.” Isn’t patrol equal to emergency services?
posted by: Legalbuff on March 17, 2017 9:44am
If the allegations of sexual harassment or bigger were true and proven this officer would of been more than suspended. The removal from the School Assignment would be protocol for anyone accused of this type of allegation. Remove them from the setting.
posted by: 9876go on March 17, 2017 1:44pm
I think Emergency services in this context refers to the SWAT team whih he was a member. So his removal is another punishment.
posted by: Dwightstreeter on March 17, 2017 4:27pm
So Campbell moves him out of the school to some other location.
Will this stop his behavior?
I don’t think so.
You’ve got a big problem and your solution is to move the guy around.
It didn’t work for the Catholic Church. What makes Campbell think it will work for the NHPD?
Clap if you believe in fairies.
posted by: MrMaxwell on March 17, 2017 5:18pm
Campbell most likely only moved this officer because there was not enough evidence to do more. I’ve heard about this officer in the past and have only heard great things. Heard about him doing a lot for people and going above and beyond the scope of his normal duties in order to help people of all ages. If this activity was more with teachers then with students, did the teachers come forward when it wasn’t going on? Don’t the teachers have a duty to protect? Makes you wonder what to believe.
posted by: fountainst on March 17, 2017 5:50pm
On another topic, is there any update on the investigation done by Assistant Chief Casanova regarding allegations of cheating on the sergeants’ promotional exam?
posted by: budman on March 17, 2017 6:45pm
Again. Can we please get a real police chief. One who will fire someone for sexual harassment. It is a termiable offence. This is horrible. Absolutely horrible. Never mind the fact that she was a minor.
posted by: Brutus2011 on March 19, 2017 1:55am
If a NHPS teacher were found to have behaved this way, termination would have been the outcome.
And not only termination, but likely career-ending.
So ........ ?
posted by: JonCav on March 19, 2017 2:21am
I had some inside info on the complaint that I commented about, but it couldn’t be posted because it had to be substantiated. No criminal charges were found on the officer after the probe/investigation was completed over a month ago. Long story short the complaint was not made by a minor, it was an adult student who no longer attends the school and a 3rd party issue a teacher had. Nobody of any age deserves to be “harassed” but there is a difference between sexual harassment and harassment. Sure something the officer said or did may have looked bad because the suspension was given, but anything that is found during an investigation/probe is fair game to use during a disciplinary preceding. Also “conduct unbecoming” is a very vague internal department charge. Anything that can make the department look bad can be used. More to come ...
posted by: Wonderball2612 on March 19, 2017 6:57pm
@fountainst… you are onto something. Wonder if the investigation could be FOI?
posted by: Oldstudent1997 on March 19, 2017 7:44pm
I used to go to this school and I know I know officer Elliott. He was helping a lot of us and try to keep us out of trouble. I hated that school because of some of the teachers and mostly the principal. The officer would talk to us about everything. He would be there whenever we needed to talk. I didn’t have pops at home and moms was never really their. I was on the wrong track outside of school. Some of the things he would tell me was be a better person and make good choices and keep out of trouble and show respect. I still chill with people from this school and they say that he helped them to.
posted by: JonCav on March 20, 2017 3:11pm
I was told this investigation was completed in a short period of time, less than a month. That’s 3 months less time then it took for an internal investigation into a possible wrongful arrest of a reporter and taking of his camera. Sounds like a short amount of time for a sexual harassment probe. That either means there wasn’t enough evidence to support the complaint or this was some sort of investigation that was prematurely completed.