Opinion

Investigation strikes close to home

An 18-year veteran of the Poulsbo Police Department resigned on Dec. 11 amidst an internal investigation into alleged wrongdoing. A report released by the city of Poulsbo stated that Grant Romaine, who swore to protect and defend Poulsbo residents in 1989, was the subject of a months-long internal investigation headed up by the Bremerton Police Department.

We stress that no criminal charges have been filed against Romaine, and his resignation brought the investigation to a close. The investigation began Sept. 19, 2007, about two months before the Poulsbo Police Department’s new Chief Dennis Swiney took the helm in late November.

The investigation alleges Romaine abused his power as a police detective to target attractive women and obtain personal information. At least one allegation goes back more than a decade.

While we commend the Poulsbo Police Department for being forthcoming in releasing the report and commissioning the Bremerton Police Department to conduct the investigation, we question why the investigation didn’t begin with the initial complaints.

According to our own news reports based on the the official findings of the investigation, “Accounts of alleged unsolicited and overbearing pursuits of women date back a decade, and dozens of names are listed as subjects of unauthorized searches, including the names of relatives, a former girlfriend and coworkers.”

Complaints of alleged harassment have been dogging Romaine for a decade before an investigation was deemed warranted.

This makes us wonder, who’s policing the police?

Police officers should be held to a higher standard than the average citizen. True, it would be time consuming to investigate every allegation. However, if several similar allegations are brought to light, there may be some fire with that smoke.

Again, while we commend the department for taking action, we just wish it could have happened sooner than later.

We’re hopeful that a new administration will bring in a fresh perspective and a higher level of accountability.

CELESTE CORNISH

Staff reporter

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