AUSTIN (KXAN) — After the Austin Police Department released a memo stating an officer had been fired for an inappropriate relationship with a stalking victim, KXAN dug into the policies and procedures in place to prevent officers from developing inappropriate relationships with those they interact with on the job.
“We e do have a lot of measures in place that are meant to really, I guess address the circumstances in which officers find themselves sometimes dealing with members in our community that have either been through a traumatic experience and may be in a vulnerable state or just recognizing the inherent power structure that exists with being a law enforcement officer and having that level of authority that’s bestowed upon us, to make sure that we’re using it appropriately,” said Austin Police Chief Brian Manley.
Chief Manley says the department begins addressing the issue with cadets as they’re going through the Academy.
Manley says APD provides special training for all officers on how to frisk suspects of the opposite sex in the least invasive way possible. Officers are also told to call an officer who’s of the same sex as the suspect to the scene to do the frisking, if they feel it’s safe to wait until that officer can arrive.
Male officers are also required to report their mileage when they begin and end any transport of a female alone, whether voluntarily or in an arrest.
Manley says car cameras, body work cameras and vehicle tracking devices are also used to monitor interactions between officers and those with whom they interact.