Green Bay’s police chief is reacting now that an internal investigation into harassment and bullying by some of his officers is complete. He told Local 5’s Kris Schuller the process, while painful, has created an even stronger department.
Inside the Green Bay Police Department, the facts contained in this 200-page investigation document are now known.
“As far as we’re concerned this complaint is done,” said Chief Smith. “Quite frankly I think there is a sigh of relief inside the department right now, that this is over with, that those who committed things have been held accountable and the department is moving on.”
This document was the result of 14-month investigation started in December of 2016 into misconduct by nine officers that harassed and bullied multiple colleagues during the night shift. Some that made sexually explicit remarks – others racial slurs.
“I think the most disturbing things to me were the things that we’re racially tinged. When people were doing or saying things that indicated that they were racist in nature. That was terribly disturbing to me,” Smith said.
Of those nine officers – three have since resigned and six others were given unpaid suspensions. While Smith says all officers got a refresher in the departments standards.
“We brought in an outside trainer and everybody on the department went through specific training on harassment, specific training on what appropriate behavior is in the workplace.”
And while this process was at times tough for his officers, Chief Smith says it had to take place.
“The public has a right to know that the chief of police is holding his officers accountable for everything they do,” said Smith.
A philosophy he’ll continue to follow to maintain the integrity of his department.
“There’s a high bar here in Green Bay, everybody knows it and if they don’t know it, they know it now,” said Smith.