Investigation Finds Police Officer Did Not Report Sexual Harassment Claims

According to KIRO 7 TV, an investigator has found that a Fife police lieutenant violated policies by not following through on an employee’s complaints that she was the victim of sexual harassment and systematic pattern of increasingly aggressive inappropriate behavior by a police officer over nearly a decade. The investigator hired by the city found that the woman said the officer regularly subjected her to pornographic pictures on his cell phone, exposed himself and masturbated in front of her on numerous occasions in the work place.

The woman admitted she went along with some activity and noted one instance of consensual sexual intercourse in the police weight room. She decided to report the behavior to her superiors after the officer’s advances became more aggressive.

The investigator found that Lt. Doug Burrus failed to report the employee’s concerns when she approached him in 2009 and that he did not immediately report his involvement in the matter when the city opened up an investigation. Burrus said the employee told him about pornographic images but did not report as the woman insisted the matter remain confidential. While she wanted the conduct to stop, the city’s policies state that supervisors must immediately report up the chain of command when a harassment complaint is submitted.

Burrus said that the woman did not want to share her name in fear of being ostracized within the department, and also said she feared the officer who allegedly harassed her at work. The employee who allegedly harassed the woman resigned from the police department prior to being interviewed by investigators.

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