Lt. Linda Kosovac thought something must have gone wrong. On Friday, April 16, the Madison Police Department's head of Professional Standards and Internal Affairs sent an email to area media regarding three "sustained complaints" against officers in the first quarter of 2010.
Then she waited for the phone to ring. And waited. She even checked her "sent" file to confirm this email had gone out; it had. But the overextended local media missed a story that normally would have drawn notice.
In one case, an officer got a two-day unpaid suspension for engaging in personal business on duty. In another, a 10-day suspension was handed down to an officer who, during a single month last fall, had unexcused absences on seven days and took unearned time off on another eight days. Five days were held in abeyance, meaning they'll be dismissed after a year if no problems recur.
But the most severe discipline 12 days without pay, none held in abeyance - was imposed in February against an officer who made "sexually offensive" comments on three occasions.
Two of these, in December 2009 and January 2010, involved remarks made about other officers' domestic partners. Lt. Kosovac declines to be more specific about what was said, feeling this would re-victimize the targets of these comments, who are known in the department.
The third incident involving this officer, which came to light in the course of Kosovac's investigation, happened in August 2009. Here Kosovac is willing to elaborate, saying the officer whom her choice of pronouns reveals to be male told a female crime victim something like, "Just go out and have wild monkey sex and you'll feel better."
Kosovac says Chief Noble Wray was troubled by this officer's "pattern" of inappropriate remarks, hence the severity of the discipline imposed. "He really got hit hard," she says. "I think he got the message."
The officer has not appealed this discipline to the Police and Fire Commission, which would mean making the matter public. Kosovac is not surprised: "No one wants to go in front the of PFC for saying sexually inappropriate things."