Shake-Up at WSU Pullman Police Department
(Pullman, WA) -- Several top members of Washington State University-Pullman's police command staff have decided to take retirement after disciplinary action was started against them. Police Chief Bill Gardner, Assistant Chief Steve Hansen and Capt. Mike Larsen have given word to WSU that they will retire in lieu of possible termination. This after all three were served notice in late July of pending disciplinary action against them.
This Is Connected to a 2020 Sexual Conduct Investigation on Another Officer
It was then, WSU Police Sgt. Matt Kuhrt was alleged to have had sexual intercourse while on duty, and on-campus. While the case is not yet resolved, the university says disciplinary proceedings are pending against Sgt. Kuhrt, who was placed on home assignment in March 2022. While it ultimately was reported as consensual, the sexual activities were thought to have taken place at reports of sexual activities in the presidential suite at Martin Stadium and at the WSU Observatory back in December 2020.
WSU: Department Failed to Follow Policy
WSU police command investigated and was ultimately unable to locate a witness willing to file a complaint against the officer. The investigation concluded that there was not enough evidence to take substantial personnel action. The officer did, however, face departmental action for misconduct while on duty. However, they did not follow reporting requirements for a matter of this kind.
The University learned of the allegations back in March, and launched an investigation. Gary Jenkins, retired chief of the City of Pullman’s police department, has agreed to serve as interim chief of the WSU Police Department. WSU Police Sgt. Dawn Daniels, who served temporarily as acting chief, will be promoted to assistant chief. Victoria Murray, executive director for finance and administration, is serving as acting associate vice president for public safety.