Experts Say Officers, Motorists at Risk of Sexual Misconduct

NOVEMBER 20, 2006 - Posted at 8:03 a.m. CST

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Three recent lawsuits that accuse a small town police chief of sexual misconduct have experts warning police departments to look for patterns of misconduct and adopt policies to address it.

They say departments need better supervision, clearer training, an accessible complaint system and more female officers to reduce the misconduct.

In recent months, women have filed three lawsuits against the police chief of tiny Bella Villa, just south of St. Louis. They allege sexual misconduct by Police Chief Edward Locke Junior.

The cases are pending, and city officials have pledged an inquiry. Locke declines to comment.

But experts say officers are also at risk of being manipulated by a motorist offering sex in exchange for not writing a ticket.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)