La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat says the Green Bay Police Chief is conducting an investigation, focusing on what the mayor describes as issues with the workplace environment at the La Crosse Police Department.
The mayor is not commenting on the specifics of the case, but says an outside, impartial investigation is important. He says the City considers this a very serious matter. Mayor Kabat says the issue involves a personnel matter and he will share the findings of the investigation once the report from the Green Bay police chief is complete.
Neighborhood response officer Nate Poke is on non-disciplinary leave until the investigation is complete. Officer Dan Ulrich is also on leave pending the investigation.
Thursday afternoon, La Crosse Police Chief Ron Tischer issued a statement regarding the investigation.
Just prior to September 10, 2015, several citizens came forward with information to the La Crosse Police Department regarding allegations of misconduct by Officer Poke, both while on duty and off duty. Furthermore, Officer Poke made allegations prior to September 10th, concerning Officer Ulrich.
The Police Department took these allegations against both Officers very seriously. Prior to conducting internal investigations into all allegations, the investigations were forced to be suspended due to the complaint that Officer Poke made with the Mayor’s Office. The Police Department has fully cooperated with Mr. Lewis, the outside investigator assigned by the Mayor’s office, and welcomes his findings.
Once the investigation that the Mayor’s office conducted is concluded, the internal investigations regarding Officers Poke and Ulrich will resume. We ask that the community reserve judgment until the investigations are complete. There is information that due to the nature of the investigation cannot be released at this time. Furthermore, to maintain the integrity of investigation, due process for all parties involved must be adhered to.
The Police Department takes all complaints against Officers very seriously and a very thorough and intensive investigation will be conducted. The Police Department will not be conducting any interviews or releasing any more information until the investigation is complete.