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Sexual Assault by Cops

 

Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for law enforcement, and it concerns a difficult and sensitive subject. 

Don’t do it. It is just not worth jeopardizing your career or your credibility, or even jail time.

Over the past several years, an alarming number of law enforcement officers have been arrested for sex related offenses. According to a study conducted by Bowling Green University between 2005 and 2013, more than one thousand officers were arrested for sex crimes. My friends, that is a staggering number. Just as staggering to me is that over half of these alleged incidents occurred when the officer was on duty. 

Some authors and social commentators believe this problem is the result of a power and authority disparity. They suggest this inequity entices powerful officers to prey on the vulnerable. 

I’m not sure I agree with that conclusion, but I do know that some men and women are attracted to law enforcement officers. Others feign interest to resolve a law enforcement contact favorably. 

I’ve seen it, and I’ve experienced it. I think we can all think of a time that a driver we’ve stopped seemed just a little too friendly. Flirtatious even. If we misinterpret this interest, any sexual contact can result in serious accusations, including arrest for a sex crime. 

I have a few recommendations that will help you navigate this tricky area. 

First, don’t engage in ANY sexual activity while on duty. Nothing. It’s risky and unprofessional and probably violates your department’s policy. Just don’t do it. 

Second, don’t pursue or engage in relationships with people you meet at work. This opens you up to a host of problems and accusations. “Where did you get my number?” “I was only sleeping with the officer because I thought he/she could influence my case.” “I didn’t think I could refuse him because he was a cop.” It’s all bad news. 

Look, I know you meet a lot of people every day. Sometimes it seems like it might be nice to spend more time with some of those folks. Don’t do it. It is just not worth jeopardizing your career or your credibility, or even jail time, to pursue a relationship with someone you’ve met at work. 

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 

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