Milton chief recommends changes after resource officer scandal

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Stacy Vogel
Thursday, September 17, 2009
— The police chief suggests the school resource officer become a rotational position after a longtime school resource officer resigned amid scandal this summer.

That was one of several recommendations Chief Jerry Schuetz made to the Milton Public Safety Committee on Tuesday. The committee passed the recommendations on to the city council.

Jason Casper resigned in July after eight years as school resource officer and 14 years with the department. In May, an 18-year-old former Milton High School student accused him of inappropriate sexual contact when she was 17 and sending her sexually explicit text messages when she was 18.

A criminal investigation found no evidence of inappropriate touching but did find evidence Casper exchanged sexually explicit messages with former students and school district staff.

An internal investigation released Wednesday added allegations of improper handling of evidence and a separate incident of inappropriate touching.

Schuetz’s recommendations include:

-- Rotating the position. An officer would serve in the position four to six years, depending on performance.

-- Two-person interviews instead of videotaped interviews. A camera could discourage students from sharing confidential information, Schuetz wrote.

-- A more formal dress code. The school resource officer would have to wear a tie or full police uniform during the school day.

-- A one-year evaluation period.

The city appointed Officer Jim Martin the new school resource officer in August.

The internal investigation conducted by the Rock County Sheriff’s Office found Casper exchanged sexually explicit text and My Space messages between November and April with several people, including two former students and two Milton School District teachers. Most of the messages were sent while Casper was on duty, the report says.

One former high school student—not the one who brought the original complaint—said Casper reached under her shirt and grabbed her breast with “no warning or encouragement” when she visited him at the school after graduating. She was 18 at the time.

“Casper was reluctant to explain to us how this occurred,” though he said it happened after they kissed, the internal report says.

Casper proved reluctant throughout the investigation, the report says. Police officers are required to cooperate with internal investigations or risk losing their jobs, and the internal investigation could not be used in the criminal investigation.

“(Casper) would not elaborate or explain things when asked,” the report says. “He would say that he could not remember how things progressed in particular incidents.”

The report says Casper also did not properly document and store confiscated drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Last updated: 11:21 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

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