Des Moines police wrapped up an investigation this week within their own department.
The investigation began in December when a female recruit claimed two Des Moines sergeants were harassing her. An investigation found she was being harassed by one of the sergeants but she was in a relationship with the other one.
Sergeants Tarry Pote and Brad Kress both have clean work history until now. Former police recruit, Kacie Schwake accused driving instructor Sgt. Pote of coming on to her. Investigators determined the advances went both ways.
“It was a mutually agreed upon relationship,” says Sgt. Jason Halifax.
Schwake’s lie got her kicked out the police academy and returned to her job in the dispatch. The relationship between the two, resulted in Pote getting a 25 day unpaid suspension, for unprofessional behavior and for not obeying police during the investigation.
Schwake also said Sgt. Kress sexually harassed her at work. Investigators determined Kress violated the department’s harassment policy; he now faces 20 days without pay.
There are no polices in the department about inappropriate work place relationships. This incident has leaders thinking there should be.
“The chief and her staff are looking over, and have been since this investigation began, looking over fraternization policies, what other departments have and how other departments use them,” Sgt. Halifax explained.
However, if two adults agree to a relationship, the department fears it will be hard to implement the policy.
“At what level can your employer dictate what you do in your personal life with two consenting adults?” Sgt. Halifax asked.
Both officers’ suspension has not been scheduled. They have 14 days to appeal the decision.